Personal privacy (and Facebook owned)

Yesterdays post was a real rant, today's post is proof that I am right:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/25/facebook_exposes_private_pics/

I am not one for gloating but today I will indulge myself as it lets me feel good for a little bit.

Privacy and security are things people are only just starting to become aware of. In the UK some government agency lost the bank details of some 25million people. Something which those 25million people could do nothing about (my partner included).

Some basic things people could do are:
  • Use an instant messenger which isn't tied to a single company (pidgin)
  • Use encryption when sending messages (Pidgin encrytpion, Enigmail)
  • Clean your hard drive on a regular basis, scheduled tasks are great for this (Eraser)
  • Do not upload pictures to sites that you do not have security control over, if you don't know then ask somebody who does. (Dreamhost web hosting with 1-click install gallery software)
  • Store passwords in a secure database (Password Safe - this one will create passwords for you)

Some more advanced things you can do is switch operating systems. Basic virology tells us that infections affect the largest population first and the quickest (due to the availability of hosts to infect). Switching to Ubuntu Linux or an Apple Mac will cut down the time you spend running security software. I am not saying these are more secure (they might be) but I am saying I haven't needed windows for over a year now and I know my family is safe on-line.

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