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347

This is actually an interesting new field in infosec - reputation management. Employers, Law Enforcement and other government agencies, legal professionals, the press, criminals and others with an interest in your reputation will be observing all online activity associated with your real name. These "interested parties" (snoops) are usually terrible at ...


175

The nice and educational way This is a bit similar to your third bullet point. Nobody else should know your password, not even people you trust. That is the only way you can be sure only you have access to your account. Let's say you give me your Facebook password and a week later rumors start spreading about what you did in Las Vegas last year. ...


160

This post is about communication with people that have absolutely no technical knowledge or interest; especially people afraid of technology. Don't explain, don't complain It is incredible hard to change other people, especially if they are IT laymen and you are the expert. This is the same issue as in general communications. Avoid all sentences that ...


77

The issue is not the birthday itself, the issue is a that unfortunately a lot of companies and websites are still using it for verification purposes. This is certainly bad practice and lots of companies are changing their policies just for that reason. Banks sometimes used it for retrieving a password, but in recent years they too have changed their ...


75

Funny enough, I actually don't accept your premise. As an IT professional you can read other people's emails and other communication, delete their directories etc. It is part of the professional code of conduct not to abuse your position. People trust your integrity, the same way they trust their bank's employees not to steal their money, although they could....


72

Using your real name does not cause any harm to you. You do't have to pay for bad deeds done by an impostor. So, using your real name online is not a bad practise, it depends on your wish. But the information you share is the real key. Let us say that you have a blog or social network account with your real name. And you'd share information like the places ...


65

The best security measure is quite simple. Don't use accounts that allow your money to be easily stolen via the Internet. Happily, high-net worth individuals have used systems like this since before the Internet was a thing, and are in fact particularly likely to choose them regardless. While banks certainly aren't perfect at protecting money from theft, ...


61

Using your real name is not only safe, it's important for you to do so. Just bear in mind that you don't want to simply attach your name to all your activities, you want to build and cultivate your online identity. Take the sad case of hapless, hopeless Rick Santorum. He was (and possibly still is) a politician with hopes for fame and power and sights on ...


43

Sadly, whether or not to use your real name online may depend on your gender: One study found "that chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames". There have been numerous cases of prominent female bloggers being harassed and threatened,...


38

Just change the password after you're done helping them, and send them a password reset link. They will soon learn that it's easier to keep their passwords safe than to restore them. Alternatively (e.g. for a primary e-mail account), simply change their password to a strong one and communicate it to them. Explain that changing passwords and using computer ...


28

TL;DR: Behave in the same way on the internet as you would in the street outside your house (probably) - be consistent about who you are (you shouldn't have to compromise on your core values), keep your clothes on, don't drive while drunk, don't walk up to a stranger and give them your pin number, take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety, never go ...


25

I have a less technical answer but it does play a big role in how they protect themselves. Working at a bank I noticed a trend among our more wealthier customers. The trick to protecting their wealth was dividing it up and investing it. A typical setup for an account of say a several million dollars worked like this. For starters they likely had multiple ...


23

The problem with revealing your birthday isn't the birthday itself, it is that you are giving people one more data point. Reveal your birthday on site A, your relatives on site B (which gives for example mother's maiden name), your address on site C...before you know it people are able to pull together a huge amount of compiled information. That ...


21

Personally, I use my real name online or one of a select few handles that are easily and fairly reliably identified to my real name with a simple Google search. I also have friends who will give me nothing but their handle even after we've been friends for years. There is no right or wrong answer, it really comes down to personal comfort with your online ...


13

Knowledge leads to responsibility. Imagine you gave me your password... I have to keep your password (which happens to be beerbar2) a secret. The next time I'm at the beer bar, I must actively avoid thinking about it, because I might accidentally spill it out. This is mentally taxing on me. That I might drink a beer in that situation is not helpful, either. ...


11

First, it's not the same if you have a common or unique name and if your male or female. Among the danger of using your real name online are stalking, bullying, identity theft, doxxing, etc. Please note that not using your real name online will not protect you from those, it only makes it a little bit harder and with other protective measure will hopefully ...


10

I'll put my proper IT hat on - still just about fits - and suggest you could try asking your IT team what their process is - the answer might reassure you. Typically, IT are going to make a "just-in-case" backup of your drive and put it on a shelf ("just-in-case" management realises a year after you've gone that you had a file on your drive that is ...


10

In the United States, birthdays are matters of public record, and there's many online databases where they can be trivially looked up. In other countries such as Italy it's even less private. Your birthdate is routinely asked for on simple web forms, and is even included in a resume. In essence, birthdays aren't secrets, and you shouldn't treat them like ...


9

Step Zero: Talk to your banker and ask to speak to the security department and ask for their advice. They may have special programs for you. Use a dedicated computer for financial transactions This protects you from malware caught from visiting unsavoury sites. Buy a new laptop (preferably a mac, because they're nice, and you're rich). Buy a safe if you ...


8

One thing you might consider trying is, "If you trust me, then trust me when I say that you shouldn't give your password to ANYONE."


7

Don't give them opportunity to give you their passwords. For one thing, never do tech support "free for family" over the phone. That's a quick way of ruining a good relationship. Only ever do tech support in person. Then, when the login screen comes up, pass the keyboard over to them. Let them enter the password.


7

What else are they giving you access to? Someone who's willing to share passwords probably has the same passwords for everything. By giving the Facebook password, they've also giving access to every email they've ever sent, online banking, online retirement accounts, etc. Hopefully the mention of their financial security would be enough to dissuade them.


6

Offer them an alternative. People are giving you their password for a reason. They want you to do something with it. Find out what it is, and find another way to do that. They want you to log on and "do" something for them? Fix, post, explain? Have them log on instead, and help them afterwards. Use remote assistance or teamviewer to take over their screen,...


6

Once I was given a master-key to a building as part of my work and was showing it off proudly to my manager. He said that he refused to have one. When I asked why, he said that although it was useful, if something, such as a burglary, happened in any of the locked offices then those people who held the master key would be under suspicion and he didn't want ...


5

A thing to consider is that the answer to your question depends on how common your name is. For example, there are only a handful of people in the world with my name, so if I use my name, chances are that the name can be correctly traced back to me. If your name is James Smith, then tracing the use of your name back to you becomes much more difficult. So ...


5

With the name, birthday and address alone, an attacker could case your mailbox to find out which bank you have an account with. On your birthday, he could mail you a letter with that bank's letterhead containing some voucher for your birthday and asking you to visit a malicious link to redeem the voucher. It is far-fetched. But the point I am trying to make ...


5

When you use Google Authenticator, you can scan the code into multiple devices (iOS or Android). That way, loss of a single device won't lock you out, because you can always fall back to the original. Personally I store them on a old Android phone I no longer use. All services 'should' allow you to register more than one yubikey per account, specifically ...


4

Using your real name online increases your vulnerability, and constrains your behavior. Being outspoken invites trolling. It's all good fun, until lighthearted harassment and death threats start getting real. You might face 200 pizza deliveries, or wake up to a SWAT raid. It may also have long-term consequences. Joel Silver notes: "What you say on line ...


4

In the UK, one specific result of revealing your birth date - within certain parameters - is that they can find your mother's maiden name. From there they can trace your parents marriage and all of your siblings. Given your name and birth date you can visit FreeBMD and, if your name is unusual it is possible to find registry details of your birth, including ...


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