Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I keep seeing memes on places like Facebook and MySpace that ask people to tell details about themselves.

That's not automatically a bad thing. But only if a person exercises discretion regarding which answers they are posting in a public place.

I just saw a warning about a meme called twitterpornname that's making the rounds on Twitter at the moment. Memes that ask the sort of questions it poses are an online security risk. Period.

When you sign up for an online account somewhere, you have to provide the answer to security questions, so you can retrieve your password in the event that it's been forgotten. Security questions include asking for one's mother's maiden name, first pet's name, father's middle name, the name of the street the user grew up on, etc.

Some of these memes and surveys ask for exactly the same information. So while users are happily taking their pet's names and street names, and declaring to the world that their Twitter Porn Name is Fluffy Jackson, they are also posting the answers to their security questions for the whole internet to see. And, perhaps, take advantage of.

Don't do it. Don't put your personal info out there in public. Have fun with surveys, but decline to answer any question that you recognize as a piece of info you would use to retrieve a lost password.

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