We’ve already seen way too much of some politicians and celebrities on the internet, but it seems human foolishness knows no bounds where the internet is concerned: sharp eyes have spotted a trend of people posting things like driver’s licenses, debit cards and other items with sensitive personal information in plain view on the internet through services like Twitter and Instagram. The reasons for posting these images aren’t immediately clear – and frankly, there isn’t a single logical explanation that doesn’t make these folks out as complete fools.
What this means for you:
In case you aren’t clear as to why this is a bad, bad thing – posting your sensitive personal information on the internet is tantamount to building a gigantic neon sign over your head that says, “Steal my identity, please!” To all the people who are doing this – STOP. Put down your smartphone (ironic, eh?) and step away from the internet. Go stand in the corner and put on that funny, pointed cap. Congratulations, you’ve just earned the Dunce of the Year!
Parents – if you have a teenager with their own smartphone and they’ve just earned their driver’s license or their own credit card, make sure they aren’t taking a picture of that shiny new card and posting it on the internet to brag to their peers. It might be a good time for a little security chat – and will be a lot more comfortable than that other chat you’ve been putting off for awhile now, right?
Numerous sources are reporting that web services provider GoDaddy.com is currently suffering from a severe, widespread outage of its DNS and webhosting services, crippling thousands of its customers’ websites. GoDaddy’s website and phone support are also unavailable. Though GoDaddy is not commenting on the reason for the outage, responsibility for the outage is being claimed by hacker “Own3r” who is allegedly the Security Leader of the infamous hacktivist group “Anonymous“.
— Anonymous Own3r (@AnonymousOwn3r) September 10, 2012
What this means to you:
GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest domain registrars, and by default, also one of the largest DNS providers as well. The easiest way to explain DNS is to liken it to a directory that matches the domain name (e.g. “c2techs.net”) with that website’s actual IP address (eg. “220.127.116.11”). Whenever you type a domain name into your browser, you are actually reaching out to that domain’s “name server” (hence “DNS”) so that your browser knows where to find the webserver that serves pages for that particular domain name.
Even if your site isn’t hosted by GoDaddy, if the above attack has taken GoDaddy’s DNS servers offline, your site is still unreachable unless the browser (or the human behind it) knows the IP address of your domain name and uses that instead.
What can you do about it:
While their service is down, not a whole lot. Once they come back online, you can transfer any GoDaddy services to any number of other providers. I use Hover.com and have been very happy with their simple and low-key approach. If you’ve registered domains with GoDaddy, then you are more than capable of handling the transfer process, especially if you start the transfer from Hover.com, but there are a few gotchas here and there that may complicate the process. Website transfers are a bit more complex, and unless you are an accomplished website administrator, I’d suggest you contact us for help. C2 Technology provides a full complement of web services including domain registration, website design and hosting.