Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Can You Hear Me Now?!"

Ok friends, here is the story -

  • "Phones spill secrets of previous users, By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press WriterWed Aug 30, 6:40 PM ET "Don't tell your cell phone any secrets. It might not keep them. Secondhand phones purchased over the Internet surrendered credit card numbers, banking passwords, business secrets and even evidence of adultery. One married man's girlfriend sent a text message to his cell phone: His wife was getting suspicious. Perhaps they should cool it for a few days. "So," she wrote, "I'll talk to u next week."

In our book we report on a neat project conducted by our colleagues in which they bought laptops on eBay, had their students run diagnostics on the hard drive and mother board and retrieved lots of sensitive data (even tho the devices had been erased).

We are in an era when our most intimate information is captured, stored, and made accessible to snoopers and law enforcement in ways that most citizens cannot even imagine. As more are more digital devices are in our lives (minicomputers in refrigerator doors, cars, and certainly the "smart phones" many of us carry around) there is a DESPERATE need for data security education for all Americans.

High school students should recieve personal data security training, college students need a crash course on protecting their personal information the first week of orientation, and older Americans (many of whom are still very trusting and certainly are not "device" saavy) should go through periodic training sessions on how to say safe.

To wrap up, here are some other pieces of data found on the phones bough and analyzed by Trust Digital of McLean, Va.:

  • "One company's plans to win a multimillion-dollar federal transportation contract.
    *E-mails about another firm's $50,000 payment for a software license.
    *Bank accounts and passwords.
    *Details of prescriptions and receipts for one worker's utility payments.
  • The recovered information was equal to 27,000 pages — a stack of printouts 8 feet high. "We found just a mountain of personal and corporate data," said Nick Magliato, Trust Digital's chief executive."

If this doesn't get the corporate world excited and sweating at night as they toss and turn I don't know what will!


At 3:16 PM, Anonymous A Betz said...

Yes, high school students and college students alike need education on identity theft and consumer privacy. The reasons it doesn't happen is because of economics. There are groups at ISU who are interested in making this happen, but there aren't enough instructors to teach the courses, having a requirement like this would have to go through all of the red tape associated with departmental curriculum committees, etc.


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