What do the following have in common?
- The name of your favorite movie
- Concert tickets or sporting event passes with a barcode
- Your high school
- Your mother’s maiden name
- The name of your best friend in high school
- Your full birthdate, including the year
- The street address of your childhood home
Basically, any of the answers above can be used to answer common security questions that would allow cyber thieves to gain access to an online banking or credit card account. They can be used to reset your password. That’s why you should never post these details publicly on a social media account. Even the name of a beloved pet or school mascot can be fair game.
We already know not to post our vacation plans, where we are meeting friends for drinks or dinner, or where our children go to school. But we should be aware that information we post on our social media accounts can be used by others to profile and target us.
This is especially important when you consider that Facebook users admit that as much as 7 percent of their Friend lists, which can easily number 200 or more, are people they’ve never met in person. If you share your address and phone number on Facebook with Friends only, make sure all of your contacts are people you know; otherwise cut them from your list or relegate them to Acquaintance status.
Even if you don’t have a profile on Facebook, chances are your spouse, co-worker, or teenager does. According to the Pew Research Center, half of Internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does. Make sure they’re not giving out your personal information too.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”