Identity Theft

If you have old user accounts on forums, web based chat rooms etc when you are no longer using them it’s best to delete these accounts. I’ve just had the unsettling experience of finding out that someone has hacked a forum where I had a user account and been posting messages in my name – using my first and last name!! If they were just using my username I wouldn’t have minded so much but they were actually using my real name. Thankfully I didn’t find anything offensive they had posted!!
However;
We are only known in the online world by our work, writing and reputation. If someone else is going around doing things in my name that can come back to hurt me. (It’s also creepy)

I usually use a nickname when signing up for anything of this nature except for here, the Linux mailing lists I’m on and the linux.conf.au website. I am security conscious and I keep my passwords secret. I know what constitutes a strong password and what is a weak one. I don’t remember registering for this particular forum with my real name but I will definitely be even more careful in the future.

If one of your online passwords is compromised and it’s identifiable as yours and you have similar passwords (naughty, naughty) then you should change them immediately.

One Comment

  1. Get Your Facts Right

    Regarding your statement, “I’ve just had the unsettling experience of finding out that someone has hacked a forum where I had a user account and been posting messages in my name – using my first and last name!!” I would like to caution you to be more precise in the words you choose.

    Assuming that this post refers to my forum that you’ve been communicating with me about, there is 0% evidence that our server was ever ‘hammered.’ (Incorrect passwords sent over and over until the correct one was worked out.) Every login in was correct username and correct password from the first post.

    Where you wrote, “I know what constitutes a strong password and what is a weak one.” Perhaps this isn’t as true as you believe, for the above reasons.

    Last – but not least – where you wrote, “I don’t remember registering for this particular forum with my real name;” Like I said, there is no record of any of your details (including name changes) ever having been made.

    For the record: I agree that I would hate for anyone to post things (even nice things) using my name/reputation would be distressing – all I’m saying is that making statements like the above – not based on fact – are equally as distressing.

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