According to Symantec’s yearly Internet Security Threat Report we’re not worth very much. Personal identities, often used by cyber criminals to defraud us law-abiding citizens in various clever ways, are being sold in underground ‘cyber supermarkets’ for as little as 50 pence a pop.
Disappointingly a cyber supermarket isn’t PC World in a bunker – it’s a nefarious forum right here on the internet.
Anyway, identities are supposedly being sold in bulk-buy deals so that would be criminals who were ‘just browsing’ end up blowing their wad on the personal details of several individuals. Bank details go from as little as a fiver and you could bag yourself 500 credit card numbers for just £100. Now that’s shrewd marketing.
European identities typically cost 50 per cent more than those of our American counterparts. This has nothing to do with the cretinous US leadership – it’s all down to the ease with which we can travel and conduct business across European borders.
How should you protect yourself from internet identity fraud? Well, Symantec would obviously suggest investing in a piece of security software such as its excellent Norton 360 package.
The rest is common sense. Don’t follow the ‘enter your Ebay account details and password here and click the ‘make me poor’ button below’ instructions you get in spam emails. Adjust your passwords periodically and don’t use your mum’s maiden name. Make sure you only enter credentials on trustworthy websites – normally ones with domain names you recognise. That sort of thing.
All well and good, but I’ve decided to pre-empt the inevitable and offer myself for sale right here on Stuff.tv – it’s so much cleaner than those dingy forums. Start the bidding at a pound? Chuck in Tom Wiggins for free?