Sunday, August 16, 2009


All you readers out there... spread the word!

I was reading the on-flight magazine yesterday while we were making our way to the beach and came across an article on hacking. If you've ever seen the email forwards that are 'porn star name generators' or 'jedi name generators' then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't seen these before, let me explain. The basic idea is that you plug in a few basic answers: what street did you grow up on? what is your mom's maiden name? what was your first pets name? and it spits back your pretend name based on your answers.

If these questions sounded familiar to you, they should have! The people who design forwards like this are asking for these specific answers because they are the answers to your security questions for many things you would do online! Banking, credit cards, password lookups... Once you 'submit' your answers, they can use your information to gather just about anything else they want to know about you. And we all know that once someone has your password, they basically have everything they need to take any other information they want about you.

I always just thought forwards like that were designed by high schoolers thinking they were being funny, but not anymore! Let's all be a little more aware the next time we're asked to give answers to questions that we should be holding a little closer to our chests. You've been warned - now tell someone else!