AfterDawn: Tech news

Lie on the Internet, advises UK web security official

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Oct 2012 19:02 User comments (5)

Lie on the Internet, advises UK web security official Official's comments come under fire.
Andy Smith, an Internet security chief at the Cabinet Office, advised Internet users to give false details in many cases while using the Internet. For example, he suggested that you lie about your date of birth, and other information, while using social network websites, and give false information to websites that you can't fully trust.

"When you put information on the internet do not use your real name, your real date of birth," he told a Parliament and the Internet Conference in Portcullis House, Westminster. "When you are putting information on social networking sites don't put real combinations of information, because it can be used against you."

Obvious exceptions to Smith's suggestions include filling out government forms, such as tax returns, or to sources you know you can trust to protect your information. Lord Erroll, chairman of the Digital Policy Alliance, backed Smith's suggestions, pointing out that many banks use a person's date of birth as part of their verification process online.

Not everyone received Smith's suggestions so well however; Labour MP Helen Goodman found them totally outrageous. "This is the kind of behaviour that, in the end, promotes crime," she told the BBC News website. "It is exactly what we don't want. We want more security online. It's anonymity which facilitates cyber-bullying, the abuse of children. I was genuinely shocked that a public official could say such a thing."

Lord Erroll does not see it that way however, saying that cyberbullying is a different issue, and that there are technical ways to unmask bullies. He also countered that such people can use information you make public against you, or to impersonate you online.

Tags: UK
Previous Next  

5 user comments

128.10.2012 19:13

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

229.10.2012 3:52

Originally posted by Hopium:
THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
LOL it doesn't take them long to come out with that excuse

329.10.2012 11:31

I suppose this is all 'fine & dandy' until you run into a situation like the one in South Carolina when foreign malfeasance ripped off several thousand [correction: million] constituents information from their servers here not so long ago.

Granted, not all the information was entered electronically by each individual, but I think we get the idea. Sometimes our hand is called for us.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Oct 2012 @ 13:59

429.10.2012 13:48

The key to combat all the 'big brother' fear-mongering is (and always has been) swamp the b**tards with tons of meaningless data.

In dealing with the things you must deal with normally by all means give your accurate details.

For everything else lie you ass off, let them drown in useless nonsense as they try to track us in everything.

53.11.2012 23:58

Any competent computer user has been doing so since the internet started its just common sense.

Never give your correct info ... ever....

And if its in government websites do it on paper and forget using the internet for anything you have to give you correct details for cos as we have seen government officials seem adept at leaving their unencrypted laptops on trains , planes and automobiles...

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive