When it comes to protecting our data, many of us only place a high priority on vital data like financial information or location. However, even seemingly mundane data can be used to paint a picture if you're not careful to protect it.
Photo by David Goehring
As business blog Entrepreneur points out, the data that we don't think is important is often easier to gain access to. However, those who want to use your data for nefarious purposes often don't need much of it. For example, posting that you're at the bar every Friday night can tell a local thief when your home is empty. No matter who you are, mundane information can still highlight your vulnerabilities:
We saw this not too long ago when Russian hackers infiltrated the Pentagon email servers. Federal officials quickly noted that none of the agency's secure servers had been penetrated; but the information obtained, while unclassified, still offered valuable insights to the enemy. What's more, the Defence Department spent significant time and money shoring up its security system's vulnerability and analysing the threat.
Does this mean you need to be paranoid all the time? Not necessarily. Locking your car doors isn't paranoid, after all. However, it does mean being a bit more realistic about your security. It's much more likely that someone in your neighbourhood is going to steal from you than a foreign government is going to break the encryption on your hard drive.