Earlier this week on Facebook, we saw a post called “What Is Your Aussie Nickname?”. You take the month you were born and the date in the month. Put the two together and you get your Aussie Nickname. You then post your nickname in the public post for all to see. It’s all just a bit of fun, or is it?
Call us paranoid, but we don’t like these posts here in IT Monkey. Why? Well it’s simple really. Everyone who views the post now knows the month and day you were born. You may be thinking now, what harm could that be?
Well, in addition to the post above, there are many other Nickname type posts out there. Some of the questions posed are as follows:
- Your first pets name
- City you were born in
- Favourite colour
- Mother maiden name
- Street you grew up on.
Again, you may be thinking that it’s no big deal and, if everyone was honest in the world, it wouldn’t be. But they are not, so it is. Now you are probably wondering why, why is it a big deal? Let me explain to you.
All the questions above are typical of ones used by websites as security questions to help verify a user’s identity if they have lost a password. Not only do websites ask these questions, but how often have you been asked to confirm a security question over the telephone when talking to a bank?
Thankfully, many sites and businesses are moving away from these types of questions and are implementing other, more secure alternatives such as recovery email addresses and mobile phone numbers.
Now, we are not trying to be killjoys here at IT Monkey. In fact, we tried out the Aussie Nicknames ourselves and the results are quite funny (and possibly disturbing also!), but we will not be making them public for all to see!
I guess the point we are trying to make is that scammers never sleep. Many of the people putting up these posts don’t realise the significance of these images and think they are just a bit of harmless fun, but to the scammers and identity thieves out there, they are a goldmine of information.