Lately, safety revolving around public internet domains has been a hot button issue. A few weeks ago this topic was on Oprah regarding tips to protect yourself and what to look out for in regards to private information being stolen. Gary LosHuertos took this safety warning further and showed consumers firsthand how easily a stranger can find and use your information.
Gary’s main target to expose was Firesheep, which is software created to assist in collecting cookies, these abilities also allow logins and passwords to be stolen from accounts easily. Some of the sites that can be used by Firesheep are Facebook, Twitter, and Google, sites that have over millions of users that are frequently accessed in public domains through personal laptops or cell phones.
At a Starbucks in New York, Gary, or the Firesheep Vigilante as he has been called, collected over forty Facebook logins and sent all the users an email warning that there information was vulnerable. A majority responded right way to cutting off the connection but few strangely did not heed the warning.
The importance of being careful with unsecure connections through laptops and even smartphones is incredible. The amount of personal data that can be collected such as bank statements and payment information is a scary thought. The need to see who has messaged you on Facebook does not seem to outweigh the risk of identity theft and personal information being stolen.