A member of our production team witnessed a great security UNaware moment this weekend. Take a look at her story:
We went out with some friends Saturday night to celebrate my husband’s birthday and afterwards, we all went back to our place to hang out, make some cocktails and watch YouTube videos. We have our laptop hooked up to your TV and let everyone take turns selecting videos for the group. One of our friends, let’s call him Dave, opened up a new browser and signed in with his YouTube account so he could access some videos he had made that he wanted to show us but that weren’t publicly searchable on YouTube. The next day, when my husband went to check his Gmail, he noticed that Dave had left himself logged in on the laptop. Now, being a good guy, my husband logged out of Dave’s account but if he hadn’t, just think what he would have access to. YouTube and Gmail are linked, so we would have had access to all of Dave’s personal email, and if he uses his Google account to login to any other sites, then we would have had access to those as well! At the very least, we could have deleted all of his videos on YouTube, posted inappropriate things under his user name, or read private emails between him and his family/friends/girlfriend.

We didn’t, but he left himself open by leaving himself logged in on our laptop.

What can we take away from this story?

If you are using a device that is not your own, log out of all accounts when you are finished. Especially if it’s a public device, such as a library or university computer.

Be aware of who has access to your online identity. Ideally, YOU are the only person who has access to and control of your online accounts. If you suspect that one of your accounts has been compromised, change your passwords immediately!

Thank your friends for being good people. 🙂 We know of plenty of people who have been pranked by family members and friends when leaving their accounts open, but we’ve also heard horror stories about privacy invasions. One included a jealous boyfriend who used his girlfriend’s trust against her, by reading her emails and private journal because she left herself logged in at his house.


Security Cat™

Security Cat™ knows everything about cybersecurity! He likes to fight cyber crime, catch phish, subdue trigger-happy mice, and help humans be safer online. He boosts SAC's company morale and helps out with social media (or at least sits on our keyboards).