In HTTPS We Trust

I recently signed up to Page Once - the personal Internet Assistant. Page once allows me to sign in to all of my accounts from one web page. It will remember my passwords and create a single dashboard for my accounts. I guess that helps.

I have not subscribed to Wesabe or Mint or really allowed my Facebook account to access all the other services I subscribe to. I have not even linked my brokerage and banking accounts because I am pretty worried about what happens when all of this data is joined up. John Andrews' posting Internet Activity Data: What’s it Worth? on RescueTime.com just informed me of yet another service mining my data for their profit.

We're all very busy establishing ourselves online for convenience and we are putting more and more data about ourselves out there. We trust HTTPS and we see the Entrust and Verisign symbols and Paypal and that seems to allay our fears. We sign up to Lifelock and Equifax and Experian credit or id theft protection, but do we really understand the dangers of trusting our personal and private data in databases that we do not control.

Just check out Attrition.org's Data Loss Archive and Database who track the myriad data breaches that go on daily. In another article Data Breach Hell Dr. Heather Mark discusses data breaches at POS and Loglogic's posting Most Insider Related Data Breaches Go Unreported that estimates the average annual cost of insider data breaches at US$3.4 million.

So this is data that is in databases, perhaps nothing to do with the information that I publish on Facebook and MySpace, but the more of my data that is out there, the richer the public domain picture of me with potentially serious consequences. Just how safe are you?