Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Digital Identity= Digital Nirvana

If one rates 5 things she/he can’t live without in Orkut, which would be the unanimous choice? Internet...Internet…Internet.Today, our virtual identity matters more than real life’s. Such is my reliance on internet, I have forgotten last time- I visited my bank, or, bought an audio CD in shop, or, paying utility bills at the counter. While reading this blog and news , I sympathise the hardship, these poor souls would have undergone.

So, here are my rudimentary detoxification tips on password management- to harness protection from identity theft.

You must have descended today, on ‘time-machine’ from “Pangea” – if your password conforms to one of the following:

  • girl-friend’s name- mostly ex :) ,
  • birth place, school/college or pet’s name, home town or dictionary words,
  • without complex-numeric characters like @,0,#,$.7,&,*,
  • written on your diary/note book,
  • at your cubicle- pompously displayed like ‘Medal of Honour’- on post-it.

All it takes few minutes, if not seconds- to hack into your accounts with tools like rainbow tables and crackers . With ‘N’ number of passwords one need to remember at ‘office’ or ‘home’ like windows login, ERP/CRM, personal email, internet banking, online groups, blogs… it isn’t pragmatic to have it unique at all times as SSO(Single Sign On) is light years away. Recycling of same password for different accounts isn’t a good option either.

So, how would one surf safely? If you don’t harbour fantasies, to recourse ‘Green Card’ from ‘Adam and Eve’s’ wonderland -try one of these:-

1. Apply your ingenuity, longer the password, safer it is- try your favourite Thiru-kural, phrases, or songs-

a. "N0thing-g0nn@-change-my-life"

b. "N0thing-is-imp0ssible"

c. "We-d0n’t-need-n0-educ@ti0n"

Note:- replaced o with 0,n with N, a with @ (for heaven’s sake, don’t use any of the above as your password)

2. Take assistance from reliable firefox add-ons for password and privacy management.

3. Avail goodies like encryption (https://) from service providers like this.

4. Shun clicking pop-up adverts and phishing emails, as they are synonymous with investing on Chennai chit funds- direct flight to deprivation

5. If you are browsing on public places like Airports, Parks, Cybercafés use on-screen virtual keyboards to login to your internet banking. It shields from key-loggers.

6. Finally, do take backup of your important emails and files.


Baidik said...

Romba thoughtfull gyaan saar. Thx.

Oru doubt, the tools u mentioned here (cracker) et all can be used only on the comp one using right ? Or is it possible virtually as well?

CV Arun said...

Hi Baidik,

Thanks for goin thru it.Hope it helps. Not necessarily,most of the tools are N/w based esp. if you connect to internet they masquerade under trojans,malwares and spywares.Wireless attacks are the most common & i am really concerned once iPhone is launched in india,it's gonna create some mess on identity theft. Try to add NoScript from firefox add-on it wl save you most of the time.

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Person with chronic disability on interpretation of life.However,optimism is my escape velocity.