Personal Data Security

Yesterday's event with the publication of personal data leaked from Yandex.Eda reminded us of the basic rules for providing information to online services (especially those related to offline):

1. Never reveal your real name. It's better to have a different name for each service, in this case, you can identify where the leak occurred when you receive a call from scammers "Hello, Thurman Merman".

2. All orders should be placed with a separate phone number. In general, it's very convenient to have different numbers for "your close ones" and for everything else. The best example is when you register as a sole proprietor. From the first day, every new sole proprietor in Russia is flooded with calls from all banks offering account services. Ideally, of course, you can have different numbers for different occasions, but you can't have enough burner phones.

3. Don't use payment cards with an unlimited balance for online orders. It's cool to issue a virtual card for each online store and gradually top it up for each order. It's not cool to link everywhere your favorite card from your wallet, which you receive your salary on and which is valid for another ten years.

3*. For connoisseurs and rich people: you can buy anonymous prepaid cards with cryptocurrency. It will be expensive, the card may not last long, you can't top it up, but it provides complete anonymity.

3**. For thrill-seekers: switch completely to cash. I've tried it, it's difficult, sellers don't always have change (and couriers almost never do), and you can't hoard enough small coins.

4. Prefer pick-up to door-to-door delivery, so that as few databases as possible contain your home address. On the other hand, a pick-up point employee may remember you, and you will appear more often on surveillance cameras, so you have to think about this.

5. Don't live at your permanent registration address. This can sometimes cause inconvenience, but the satisfaction of unexpected guests trying to find you at some address where you haven't been for many years is priceless.

5***. Change your street, city, or country of residence from time to time.

Of course, I hardly followed any of this because I'm an honest person, so now I'm worrying along with everyone else. But if I had followed the rules and common sense, I wouldn't be worried.

Of course, these measures don't make much sense if you register everywhere with the same email, use the same password, keep the geolocation on your phone turned on, allow apps access to your contacts, photos and other information, post the view from your window on Instagram, and tell everyone on social media that it's your birthday today.

And keep in mind that this list comes from a person who has a smartphone with all functions enabled, an email on a personal domain, and a phone number that hasn't changed in 15 years. We're all hypocrites, yes.