Dude, Where's My Cryptology?

Locks of love.
Where are you reading this post? In a coffee shop? The lobby of your hotel? At an airport? There’s a good chance that if you are using a public WiFi spot for your access, your Twitter account might be vulnerable to attack.

Just look at what happened to Ashton Kutcher while he was at the TED Conference today in Long Beach, California. While logged in to his Twitter account over the Long Beach Performing Arts Center’s network, someone hacked into his account and sent a couple of updates.

Socket to ya.

Now, there was no real harm done; in fact, the prankster used the opportunity to point out the vulnerability in sharing private credentials on public networks.

The basic issue is not where you use the Internet, but what protection the sites you use provides. Ever since Firesheep was unveiled a few months ago, this issue has gotten more coverage. Facebook, Twitter, and Google have added SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) options to their processes, but wider-spread changes have been slow, and not all users are taking advantage of them. Even Twitter had to point out its availability after the Kutcher stunt.

As our expectations for constant connection grows, the burden for keeping our confidential information safe falls not just on our common sense, but also to the entities we choose to entrust with it. So, before you log in here to leave a comment, make sure your connection is secure. If it’s not, hold your thoughts, and share them with me when I see you on the ‘morrow, on the Web.
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Author  Stephen R. Fox