John Stossel of ABC's 20/20 had a espectacle fantàstic la setmana passada, Scared Stiff: preocupació als Estats Units. He provided solid data speaking to the media's impact in our lives and how it affects the public and its fear.
(També ho tenia Stephen Dubner de Freakonomics al programa, així que l’havia de mirar!)
The problem he identified is that most of the things we worry about aren't really risks at all. One startling example is a comparison of having a loaded gun or a swimming pool… pools kill many more children than loaded guns. For some reason, we're not afraid of sending our kids off to a home with a pool… but we'd never send them to a home with a loaded gun.
This week, the fear hit home with me. I'll spare the gory details, but I joined a social networking site that had some fantastic tools for building your family relationships and having your ‘network' take off and grow on your own. The trick to the site was that you enter all of your family and their relations to you… the application does the rest… contacting each of them to login and continue building the family. It's an awesome application with all the right features… a viral component, a tool, a contact database, all in one spiffy little Web 2.0 package.
Here's the rub… you enter your family's information. I made the insanely dumb move of kicking the whole party off and putting my family's data in there. The application then contacted each member of my family. The young folks caught right on and started building their networks. It was a different story with the older folks. You would have thought I posted my family's passports and credit cards online for the taking! They were absolutely horrified that I would do such a thing. Horrified!
Identity theft, identity theft!!! My sanity, intelligence, and – most of all my trust – were immediately put into question. Flaming emails followed flaming emails… educating me on this incredible threat and how careless I was to put my family at risk. Though I wasn't concerned with Identity Theft, I quickly made tracks to the company to get the data in question… and any related data… taken down immediately. That didn't stop the scolding. I have to tell you… at 38 years old and having a decade behind me in the Industry, you would have thought I was the worst thing to happen to the net since SPAM.
I'll be in trouble for this post as well… it's not over anytime soon. If the case were adjudicated and ended in a public flogging, it still wouldn't save me. I think I'm off all the wills.
John Stossel té raó. Aquesta falsedat de por per part de les empreses i els mitjans de comunicació està absolutament fora de control. El fet és que el negocis of identity theft will exchange infinitely more money than actual identity theft. But it's got the attention of creditors, government, and media so it's going to be in the spotlight for a while. All of our data has been exposed in this malament Internet and we're soon all to be assimilated. There's no stopping it. We're done. The world is ending.
D'acord amb estadística, El 69.4% de totes les llars nord-americanes utilitzen ara Internet. Uns sorprenents 210,000,000 de nord-americans estan ara a Internet. També ho és la informació de la seva targeta de crèdit, el seu historial de crèdit, els mapes dels seus barris, la seva informació de seguretat social, els beneficis de la seva empresa, les seves inversions i fins i tot els seus antecedents mèdics (molt vigilats).
Vaja ... amb aquest tipus de números, hi ha d'haver milions de persones afectades pel robatori d'identitat, oi? Bé ... no.
D'acord amb el FTC, there were a 246,000 cases of identity theft complaints were reported in 2006 (DOWN from 255,000 in 2005). Well that's 1 in every 1,000 Internet Users, right?
According to the FTC, only 1.9% of all Identity Theft complaints were made against the Internet. 4,674 people. So 98.1% of all Identity Theft complaints were not related to the Internet. Let's do some math…. that's 0.0022% chance of getting your Identity stolen from the Internet. Or 1 in every 45,000 people. 3 to 6% of Identity Theft happened due to data breaches a la font, amb una gran majoria a les institucions financeres i també robades físicament, no electrònicament.
I could not find a single complaint in all of the data I reviewed where the victim's data was hacked electronically from a third party web site. Ni una sola queixa.
Encara teniu por? La vostra possibilitats de ser assassinat o morir per una caiguda o morir per un accident de cotxe o fins i tot per una ferida autoinfligida són més grans que les vostres probabilitats de ser víctima de frau d’identitat a Internet. De fet, les probabilitats que la Terra es vegi afectada per un asteroide al segle següent és superior a la de ser víctima de frau d’identitat a Internet.
With that in mind, I would add that all, if not most, of those Internet Identity Fraud cases happened because of a phishing scheme… where a user logged into a fake site that was put there for the sole purpose of stealing your identity. They didn't come from legitimate sites where people's identities were stolen.
Perquè no? Hi ha uns quants motius, però la clau és que tan bé com Internet permet estalviar les seves dades, it's also great at recording every single packet of information that runs through it. Have you ever noticed how quickly people get tracked down after a child pornography roundup? It's a lot easier for someone to steal some paperwork from your local financial institution than it ever would be to try to retrieve it from the web.
To conclude… stop worrying. To the security and media companies… stop all the fear mongering! Of course I'm not advising you to use your first name as a password and leave your credit card info in your profiles, but you also don't have to fear logging into a legitimate site and finding your bank accounts emptied the next day. It just doesn't happen that way. There's more important things to worry about (like having a healthy, trusting relationship with your family).
I si ets víctima qualsevol frau d'identitat, here's some assessorament.