Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let Me Introduce Myself

I get a lot of emails each day (as I'm sure most people do nowadays). Most of it is rubbish and can be binned immediately, some of it is from people I already know quite well and then some of it is from people who are introducing themselves to me. These new people could be people who want to hook up on LinkedIn or Facebook and tend to have job offers for me or are looking for a job.

My first reaction these days is to ask my good friend Google to do a background check on these people. That way, I'll get to maybe see a photo of them - putting a face to a name is always a good thing - and I'll get to see what they are up to, what their interests are and whether there is any point in responding to their introduction.

And so it came to pass that I did precisely this yesterday but with the result that I found someone's Twitter account and their last tweet was asking for payment from another Twitterer via bank transfer. Astonishingly, this tweet also contained my new acquaintance's account details - Sort Code & Account Number.

I pondered this information for only a short time. I had this person's name, address, sort code, account number, list of friends and interests within just a couple of minutes. If I was so inclined, I could have some fun with the information as I'm sure others would dearly like to do.

We should always be mindful that the information we release on to our computers then in to the WWW is accessible by others. Not only can the information be damaging to our reputation, but in the case above, our bank accounts could come under threat. That's not to say that we should stop releasing information, of course. We just need to be a little more careful about what we say, to whom and choose the medium to communicate wisely!