Denise Sposato

Protecting Your E-Life - You May Be More Vulnerable Than You Think

Blog Post created by Denise Sposato Employee on Oct 23, 2012

I recently took the plunge and purchased the iPhone, even though I was perfectly happy with my Android HTC EVO, but I really, really wanted access to Siri.


So, as I prepared to set up my new iPhone, it was suggested (strongly) that I, #1, set up the 4-digit password protector to access my phone (ugh), #2, enable auto-lock (really?), and #3, turn on the ‘Find My Phone’ feature.  Whew, I thought, this is a lot of work just to get started … and I haven’t even tried out Siri!


I mean, really, entering a 4-digit password might slow me down by a second, but I’ve never truly ‘lost’ my phone … well, I lost a few Androids in the washing machine, and had to call my cell from my landline more times than I care to admit in this blog to help me find ‘where’ I put the phone down, but was the phone really truly lost?  No.


It did get me thinking, however, that with all the new bells and whistles that come with my new iPhone, and many that I took advantage of with my old Android, comes built in risks for exposure of my personal information.  Scary, I thought.


After all, I’ve been just plain lucky up to this point. My phone is my lifeline … I have everything in the palm of my hand…bank accounts, passwords, 401(k) info, you name it, it’s on my phone. Why I carry a handbag, I don’t know .. but that’s a topic for another blog.


So, can my luck hold out forever … probably not. And now I’m forced to wonder just how protected the rest of my e-life is at this moment. I’m the queen of online purchases, on my phone and on my home computer – I hate malls. I download apps constantly .. huge fan of ‘Words with Friends’ and I can’t get from point A to point B without my GPS – I’m directionally challenged at best. And, text messages are about the only way I communicate with my friends and family today.


I work for RSA, the security division of EMC, and I think I have a good understanding of the importance of managing risk. You purchased a RSA Archer eGRC module to help you manage risks, demonstrate compliance and automate business processes for your company. And you do a great job. But, what about your own personal identity risks – are you as diligent as you should be? We all probably think we are, but have we really considered if we’ve protected our own e-life to the fullest extent to reduce personal damage and liability?  Identity theft is the number one crime in America today, with over 9 million Americans falling victim to identity theft each year and at least 70% of cellphone text spam is designed to defraud us. Ouch!


So, my words of wisdom: be safe, both professionally and personally!