Burglary, the scary ICT risks

Last night, somebody broke into my house and took my mobile phone, wallet (with bankcards and credit cards), and some other valuable stuff (but little of emotional value). Curiously, a laptop and passports where untouched. It awoke me again to the risks that are part of our highly IT dependent life.

Although the laptop was not taken, I felt very relieved that I had just completed installing Mozy on it. You don’t want to lose all your work, digital photography etc, in this way. Mozy is a remote backup service that I wrote about earlier. I am still very happy with it.

As for the importance of your digital identity: without money, bankcards or phone, you are more or less a nobody. I had to cancel my appointments because I effectively cannot travel.

I am a little uneasy about my mobile phone. It is in sync with my outlook contacts database, which means I have not lost any info. On the other hand, somebody now has a digital repository with details of hundreds of my contacts. It is a good thing I did not have any passwords stored in the device. I’ll pay close attention to the encryption and security features when I buy the replacement phone.

Finally, some documents were stolen with our social security numbers on them. Unlike mobile phone numbers or bank accounts, there is no way to revoke a social security number. It is a major ID theft risk to have these numbers published so widely. I don’t see the need for everybody and his brother to put this number on their cards.

One Comment on “Burglary, the scary ICT risks

11 April 2007 at 14:08

Digital identities can be a risk for burglars too. Because I recorded the phone’s IMEI number, the police were able to track down the device as it got used. As a result both the thief and the receiver got arrested.

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