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I decided to conduct an experiment to see how vulnerable people's accounts are to mining the Web for information.
I asked some of my acquaintances, people I know only casually, if with their permission and under their supervision I could break into their online banking accounts. The goal was simple: get into their online banking account by using information about them, their hobbies, their families and their lives freely available online.
The more you blog about yourself, the more details you put in your social networking profiles, the more information about you is being archived, copied, backed up and analyzed almost immediately.
As for Kim, she's still blogging, but now she's a little more careful about the information she volunteers and has cleaned house on her old passwords and password reminder questions.
I changed the G-mail password, which gave me access to the bank account reset e-mail, and I was also asked for similar personal information (pet name, phone number and so forth) that I had found on her blog.
After clicking the link, Google asked me personal information that I easily found on her blog (birthplace, father's middle name, etcetera).I played around with this for about 30 minutes with no luck when I realized that there was probably a much easier way to do this.Step 6: Back to the Blog: In a rare moment of clarity I simply searched her blog for "birthday." She made a reference to it on a post that gave me the day and month but no year.For credit card churners who might be juggling 5 or 6 active cards in their wallet at any given time (along with another 10-20 cards in the sock drawer), it’s an even harder task to keep track of all those due dates across multiple cards and financial institutions.While setting up automatic payments can certainly help, it’s not always feasible to know ahead of time where your next payment will be coming from, especially if you’re a manufactured spender with funds moving in and out of constantly changing accounts.