As I promised I will now attempt to convince you of the importance of being paranoid about security.
To convince you that you need to worry about your security I think I first need to make it clear to you why you need security. Its pretty simple really, you need to keep your information secure to keep your pocket secure! wheather you like it or not we live in a world where the slightest piece of information could allow someone to steal your identity and empty your bank account or worse. Some of you right now are yelling “RUBISH!” but it isn’t! Your saying “Why would anyone want to steal my information?” or “Well, its has to be hard to actually steal someone’s identity and even the how could it possible be used against me?.” Lets take a little closer look at these.
Why would anyone want to steal my information
Why not? Lions go after the gazelles in the back limping around and looking at the flowers instead of looking for lions! If you don’t care about your security it becomes very easy for anyone to steal your information. Furthermore, these people don’t care if who you are, where you are from, or how much money you have. The pros are going to get into your bank account empty it out, open a few credit cards and max them out, and maybe sell of your information to someone who wants to use your information to get medical care that you will have to pay for (plus it will be in YOUR medical records that you had a kidney transplant, or whatever, when you didn’t). At best you will probably loose your life savings to some druggie.
Well, its has to be hard to actually steal someone’s identity and even the how could it possible be used against me?.
Of course it will probably take more than your name, but one piece of fairly arbitrary information could lead the person to more information about you. It is pretty easy to figure out where people live and from there you can learn a lot about a person by stealing their mail. Now, this kind of goes back to why would anyone go to all of this trouble. Well, they probably won’t unless they have a good reason to target you. You can take the chances at your own risk.
I don’t want you to think that security is only related to computers. You should be paranoid in all aspects of life because “there is no patch for human stupidity.” You should consider the possibility that any given person is out to get you. That means the guy casually talking to you at the store might be looking for people who are going to be out of town for the weekend so he can rob them. Every one might be out to get you.
I don’t know why some people are born paranoid and others are born to be overly trusting but I consider it a good thing that I’m one of those paranoid people. It can be a bit annoying at times because I’m always looking for malice where there is none to be found (e.g. from people who don’t have the mental capacity for trickery). The real reason I’m talking about this isn’t to save people money but because I don’t want them to use insecure practices and get their computers taken over by botnets and then send me spam.
You may already be a paranoid person, if you are then try to spread the paranoia. All you have to do is make a well placed comment to a friend and they will always be a little paranoid in the back of their mind :).