The other day I was reminded how easily my privacy could be compromised by none other than…me. I had been introducing my two year old to the wonder of the Muppets and the genius of Queen. Fortunately, this is easily done, as the Muppets have covered “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We both got a big kick out of it. I then started “getting down to business” and tweeted what I thought was a link to story about Twitter’s decision to offer a “do not track” option. I applaud Twitter for this move, but that’s a little beside the point for this post. (I’ll likely follow up on it a little later).
I went to bed that night convinced that I had shared an informative and helpful link to my colleagues. The next morning, my sister-in-law informed me that this is what I had shared instead:
Now, I’m certainly not shy about my penchant for the Muppets, or my Queen fangirl status. However, I remember thinking, “That’s how easily I could compromise my own privacy and that’s how easily a mistake could compromise a company’s data security.” I didn’t check the link that I was copying to my Twitter feed. What if I had been browsing my medical insurance coverage or my stock trading site and accidentally shared that instead? What if I had been at work and clicked on an email attachment that resulted in a trojan that infected the corporate network. We can be one-click away from disaster and diligence is a must on both a personal front (at some point we have to take some responsibility for our own privacy) and on behalf of our companies.
It’s no secret that people are often the weakest link in security and in privacy (think hospital employees checking on celebrities or employees transferring customer databases to a laptop to work from home). But we often forget that we can be the weakest link in our own privacy. Just some food for thought today…