Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Big Italian bank says “Google your password to see if it’s good”

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Don’t ever try this! It is always dangerous when people get addicted to something (in this case, search engine).

Sunbelt Blog: Big Italian bank says "Google your password to see if it’s good"

While Internet search engines such as Live Search ( or Google ( can be a quick fix to finding information on the Internet, we need to be wary of the risks involved at the same time. There are always risks associated with good things in life. Every time you enter a keyword or phrase to the search engine, besides looking up URLs to web sites that might be relevant, the search engine also capture and starts indexing the keyword or phrase involved. This, from a technical perspective, is a necessary step so that the next time someone else entered the same thing, or something near to it, it can respond much faster. On top of this, the search engine providers will also try to find out whether the keyword or phrase that you have entered relates to any of the online advertisements that they are providing (which is how they get paid.) Over time, they build up a huge database, with all sorts of personal profiles approximated in it as well, whether you like it or not, in accordance with their privacy policy. If you use the search engine to look up the password that you are thinking of using, you will end up having the password captured and indexed somewhere in the search site. This means that your password is now stored in somewhere where you have no direct access to, and you have no control over. All it takes is for someone who happen to have that access (legally or illegally) to link up your user ID, and bingo, your account will be compromised, and you will only scratch your head and ask why it happens. As far as security is concerned, be extra cautious.

Written by mengchow

February 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Risk Management

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