Your PIN Number Is Not As Secure As You Think

I ran across an older blog post that I think is very relevant given the Target breach as so any people will be setting up new ATM pin numbers to secure their ATM cards.

The most popular password is 1234 with nearly 11% of the 3.4 million passwords are 1234 !!!

I knew that 1234 would be popular but 11% is just a really high percentage of people using this PIN number. When taking the top 20 most popular PIN numbers in this sample set a little over 25% of the populations PIN numbers are used. That’s the top 20 most popular PIN numbers out of the total possible 10,000 PIN numbers which are available when using a 4 digit PIN which is what basically all banks use.

The blog post is a little geeky on the math and statistics side of things, but it makes for some interesting reading.


Basics of Digitial Privacy is Now Shipping!

I’m pleased to report that “Basics of Digital Privacy” is now shipping from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  The price is the same from either one, currently at $25.15 but at Amazon it is eligible for Amazon Prime so there’s free shipping if you’ve got Prime (which if you don’t I highly recommend if you order from Amazon more than a couple of times a year).

The Kindle version isn’t available just yet, but hopefully soon.  So if you are interested in a dead tree version, now’s the time to order.


Stop Posting Pictures of Credit Cards Online

So apparently there’s something which I should have included in the book but didn’t because I figured it was so obvious that it didn’t require actually saying. Do NOT take pictures of your credit cards and post them online.  I mean really, why on earth would you think that it’s a good idea to post all the information that people need to steal your identity?  Below is a screenshot of just a couple of pictures that people have posted on Twitter about their new credit cards that they just got.

cardsApparently this problem is so common that someone has actually made a twitter account that retweets these peoples pictures.  The bio for this twitter account simply reads “Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people”.  The sad thing is that most of the pictures that this account has retweeted are still out there on twitter.  My favorite is the one in the picture that actually includes the security code from the back of the card (which is conveniently his (Fred’s) birthday).  Give that he’s in his early 20’s that narrows down the year of his birth to just a few options in the mid 1990s so he’s just given out basically everything needed to take over his PayPal account and card.

I’m guessing that when there’s fraud on these cards the people that post these pictures are shocked that all their money has been stolen.

So apparently rule #1 of data privacy, don’t take a picture of your credit cards and post them online has to actually be written down.

Hopefully these people will quickly figure out that this is a bad plan and remove the pictures and never do something so stupid again.  Based on their pictures on twitter they all appear to be younger folks in their early 20’s.  Now I remember back to my early 20’s and I was pretty stupid but I can’t imagine that I would have ever freely given my credit card number to what amounts to basically every person on the planet.  Those 16 little numbers are magic in that they give someone your money.  Keep them to yourselves.


P.S. Yes I realize that I haven’t blocked out the card numbers in the screenshot.  I’m working under the assumption that the cards are already canceled as the accounts have been drained by now.

Basics of Digial Privacy Now Available For PreOrder from Amazon

We must be getting close to getting the book published. I saw on Amazon today that the book is available for preorder both as a paperback and as a Kindle e-book. The paperback version shows a release date from Amazon on December 29th, 2013 while the Kindle version shows that it’ll be delivered to your device on January 26th, 2014. I was hoping that we would be able to get the book done before the holidays, but apparently we just missed our goal.

If you order now you’ll be able to get your copy delivered just as quickly as Amazon (or your favorite book retailer) have it available.

If you’d like to take a free sneak peek at the book, it looks like Google Books already has part of it available for viewing online.


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