Damn it! I’ve been preaching this for years but I don’t think many people are listening. Security practices in the Internet era have to change! We are way, way behind the technology available and it’s costing far more not to do anything about it than to fix the problems.
For example, the UK government estimates that ID theft costs the nation Â£1.7bn every year. Let’s see, that’s 1.7 billion divided by 60 million people or Â£28 per year, for every man, woman, child, infant, invalid and 90 year old in a nursing home. You could equip every person in the country with a fingerprint reader or secure ID token for a fraction of that cost and practically eliminate this huge – and growing – threat.
Now the technology arm of the United Nations has thrown a hat in the ring.
Net trends towards personalization and efforts by websites to track users are leading users to maintain a growing list of the logins and passwords. But this comes with risks, warns the ITU report.
“This may cause security breaches, and leave them vulnerable to the machinations of identity thieves ever increasing in number and inventiveness,” said the report.
As well as being dangerous, being forced to generate so many login names and passwords wasted time and was very unwieldy, said the report.
“The lack of coordination in identification systems is a source of growing inconvenience to users and needs to be addressed rapidly,” it said.
The UN agency urged net firms, businesses and government bodies to create better or more unified ways for people to use websites that would help to safeguard their identity online.
The growing problem of ID theft could stunt the growth of net commerce as users become wary of spending money online, warned the ITU.