Sunday, May 13, 2012

Physical Information Security

A lot has been written on information security, how to protect your PCs, your email accounts, your bank accounts, and so on. But what about physical files, credit cards, even personal conversations. Social engineers do not always have to hack your PC to collect information, they can eavesdrop on conversations, sneak a look on your laptop especially when you are writing personal confidential information.
The key is to Protect your personal and confidential information at all times, whether in your PCs, in hard copies, or even in your mouths.
Below are some tips to ensure the security of your information.
    1. Work elevators: They are the gold mine for social engineers. People tend to discuss loudly work issues, personal stuff and other confidential information in the elevator. We should refrain from discussing such topics when there is a stranger in the lift.
    2. Coffee shops: We often tend to use our laptops in coffee shops and restaurants, and we often open personal or confidential files there. Remember, someone can be looking. You should be cautious when using your laptop in public areas. You can also use privacy filters to make sure only you can see what is on the screen.
    3. ATM machines: Make sure no one is standing close to you once to key your pin. It goes without saying that you should never share your pin; that is why it is called PERSONAL Identification Number
    4. Banks and government counters: Make sure that no one is looking when you are filling applications in banks or at government counters.  These applications may contain confidential and personal information that can be easily used by social engineers. Also make sure no one is close enough to hear your conversation with the clerk.
    5. Credit card payment: A car rental agency once asked me to take a photocopy of my credit card and process the transaction later! Be careful when paying with a credit card, and never accept such offers. Also remember to verify the amount on the slip before signing it. 
    6. Your office: It is a treasure of information. Make sure all confidential files are locked away, and unauthorized people are not admitted to the office space. Don’t leave your PC unlocked and unattended. Discard confidential files smartly by shredding them. (Always consider the environment by reducing the quantity of printed material, and recycling the shredded documents)

    Bottom line, caution handling confidential information should be a part of our life, not a task that we do once a week. Whether at home, at work, or in a public place, remember that personal information is for you only.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment