Let’s talk about this.
An article posted on ITWorld earlier this month got me thinking about how small businesses have to deal with online privacy issues. According to ITWorld, their top five concerns include:
- The proliferation of cookies.
- Theft of cloud-based data through weak password controls.
- Being betrayed by the stored location data on cell phones and other mobile devices.
- Photo tags on social networks.
- Federal and police agencies scanning online services.
Notice: None of these items include the words “hacker,” “rogue employee” or “security breach,” which you might have thought belonged here. Most simply involve things that we take for granted: surfing Web pages on our phones, or adding a photo or two to our Facebook accounts. It’s in the aggregate that things start to get sticky: Patterns emerge, patterns that can be accessed by anyone with a search engine and a bit of time.
To illustrate my point, I took another look at my Google account through what is now called the Dashboard. There’s a long list of things that various Google services knows about me, including an Android phone that I was testing last year, dozens of websites that I have given permission to access my account (time to audit these and revoke that access, along with revoking access in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), histories on my browsing, YouTube viewership, Google chat and so much more.
All of this is under your personal control. You just have to remember to practice good security hygiene.
So are you looking at any of this behavior when you evaluate the security profiles of your staff and co-workers? Or are you still stuck in the “defend my perimeter” mode and don’t really care whether someone has a cookie collection that could rival a Keebler Elf? Let’s hear what your biggest online privacy issues are. Just post a comment below.