Social engineering and blogging: how full disclosure could be dangerous

Recently, we delved into the dangers of Twitter. But a greater thought arose from the bowels of the twits. Is full disclosure actually dangerous? Let’s investigate the world of blogging and how it could potentially effect your life.


Now, first and and foremost we’ll point out that the key is protecting yourself and being aware that any data you release to the public could in fact be traced back to you. Not to beat a dead horse, but again, we blogger should all stop and learn the lesson from Ms. Sierra’s recent ordeal. The more your life is an open book, means that the more people can find all sorts of information on you… easily.
We added the word “easily” because to tell you the truth, the Internet is already a resource dam waiting to bust wide open when you chink the wall here, and open a spout there. There are mountains of information sites on personal information that can be gathered both from free sources, and paid. Even payment requires probably thirty smackeroos to get you some pretty juicy information (and no, we’re not going to tell you where to find this sites).
From a perspective of social engineering, a blogger has to be one of the easiest targets to exploit. Why? There isn’t too much you couldn’t gather straight from the blog itself. For example, take Scoble. His mobile is usually printed on his blog, along with where he is, what he’s doing, what he likes, his family’s names… pictures, the list goes on and on. When you put your information out for the world to see, it doesn’t take too much to get the rest of the missing information. Google makes sure of that with Google Cache. The Wayback Machine can dig up stuff that you thought you had buried long ago.
Are there people out there that blog and are very careful about what information is leaked? Sure. Take for example: Mini-Microsoft. This person writes under a pseudonym and takes every precaution to hide himself, probably more so from his employer than the rest, but it’s a good move nonetheless. Could he be outed? Of course. But it takes a lot more effort than those people that leave their names, numbers, and spouses’ name in plain sight. All you would need is a Wikipedia entry and a bit of luck to glean the rest.
Don’t believe us? Try Googling your name. If you show up, and you’re a blogger, and it was “that easy” then it doesn’t take a genius to know that with a bit more, a lot of information could be divulged from all sorts of places. You might not think twice about your information, or that strange guy that’s following you around, but be forewarned: Information is already easy enough to obtain. Don’t step into the realm without understanding that there could be other dangers that you didn’t foresee. Predators are out there, waiting.
Update (3:54PM): Fixed a typo. Thanks for catching it, CM.