18 votes

An introduction to privacy and security - Part I

After reading about and implementing simple privacy/security measures I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these things with others. Please, keep in mind that this is only meant as an introduction to the subject. Almost everything that will be covered can be carried out with no monetary cost.

Part I is meant to serve those who reside in the United States.

To put things in perspective, a 2016 study reported “total losses across all incidents of identity theft totaled $17.5 billion”. Furthermore, “More than a third (36%) of victims who spent 6 months or more resolving financial and credit problems as a result of the identity theft experienced severe emotional distress”.

  1. Place a freeze on your credit reports. Read more
  1. Stop unsolicited mail, phone calls, and email.
  2. Set up enhanced security features with my Social Security account.

10 comments

  1. [2]
    balooga Link
    Interesting that you've posted about credit freezes today... Brian Krebs just posted about the (deficient) security measures around removing a freeze with Experian. Every day I learn more about...

    Interesting that you've posted about credit freezes today... Brian Krebs just posted about the (deficient) security measures around removing a freeze with Experian.

    Every day I learn more about these credit bureaus it becomes more apparent what a shitshow the whole industry is. And for some reason, there is no alternative and we're all stuck with it. thisisfine.jpg

    9 votes
    1. suspended Link Parent
      The Krebs article was interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      The Krebs article was interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      1 vote
  2. [2]
    synergy-unsterile Link
    Security and privacy are distinct but interlinked processes that depend heavily on one's threat model. It is good to give concrete examples and measures, but it would help others to gain insight...

    Security and privacy are distinct but interlinked processes that depend heavily on one's threat model. It is good to give concrete examples and measures, but it would help others to gain insight into the threats they face, how/why they would face it, and therefrom protect against it.

    1. What kind of threats are out there? (e.g. Who/what is behind identity theft in America? Why is it so ubiquitous? How will virtually every American be affected by this in their lifetime?)
    2. What measures are there to protect against this? (e.g. credit freeze, setting up 2fa for your bank accounts, etc)
    3. What will these measures fail to protect against? (e.g. social engineering using publicly available or leaked data, how the "no-call list" fails to stop Chinese call spoofers/spammers, etc)
    3 votes
    1. suspended Link Parent
      Hence, why this is an introduction. Thanks for the additional material.

      Hence, why this is an introduction. Thanks for the additional material.

      1 vote
  3. [4]
    runtime Link
    I think it should be specified in the title (or at least somewhere in your post) that this is for US citizens only.

    I think it should be specified in the title (or at least somewhere in your post) that this is for US citizens only.

    2 votes
    1. Bauke Link Parent
      Just below the first paragraph. And now there's also a tag, added by @apoctr. :)

      Part I is meant to serve those who reside in the United States.

      Just below the first paragraph.

      And now there's also a tag, added by @apoctr. :)

      2 votes
    2. [2]
      apoctr Link Parent
      I've given it the usa tag, which should be sufficient.

      I've given it the usa tag, which should be sufficient.

      1 vote
  4. [2]
    Cosmos Link
    I've been on that "do not call" list for years now. It has done absolutely nothing as far as I can tell. Still get up to 10 spam calls per day. The majority are from made up numbers, with the...

    I've been on that "do not call" list for years now. It has done absolutely nothing as far as I can tell. Still get up to 10 spam calls per day. The majority are from made up numbers, with the first three digits the same as my own. I have no idea why they keep bothering, since I never answer, and they don't leave messages.

    Every once in a while I get a robot saying something in Chinese. I also get repeated calls from people asking for Alvin, no clue who that is.

    1. suspended Link Parent
      I've heard this from many people online. One thing that is common is that all these are going to mobile phones. In contrast, our family does not use mobile phones and we get maybe 1 robo-call per...

      I've heard this from many people online. One thing that is common is that all these are going to mobile phones. In contrast, our family does not use mobile phones and we get maybe 1 robo-call per month.