Truly petty scams
Posted by aogWednesday, 14 December 2005 at 10:24 TrackBack Ping URL

Like most people, I get lots of bogus email, much of it trolling for passwords and access to my online identity. Most of these have obvious targets — bank accounts, E-Bay, Paypal, etc. Lately, however, I’ve getting hit with that sort of e-mail trying to steal my password to an online postcard service. Why in the world someone would want to steal my identity there escapes me. I certainly wouldn’t be using one of my high security passwords there1.

1 I keep three types of passwords:

  • Who cares? security, which are easy to type and remember (like “aog”) for things I could care less about someone hacking in to, like free registrations to online content. Anyone who wants to take advantage of my ??NY Times registration, feel free.
  • Moderate security, where I’d like to avoid having people break in but it’s not a big deal if they do. For instance, places that I have online accounts with that don’t store any financial information, just order histories and the like. These are words that are easy for me to remember but unguessable to anyone but very close personal friends.
  • High security, for online financial data. For these I like to use two words, but mispelled with a punctuation mark or two tossed in. When I was younger, I used to just let my hands twitch on the keyboard until I got a smooth feeling motion, then I’d see what I had actually typed and use that as a password. Some of those I can still type 30 years later, even if I can’t remember what the sequence is until I let my fingers do it for me. Back then, I computed in a common lab so your password had to not only be unguessable but very fast to type so I’d aim for under a second to type.
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