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ICO Issues Public Warning

Written by Rehana Ali on 20 November 2014

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The website currently provides 500 live feeds from the UK alone. The Information Commissioner in the UK has issued a warning to the public “there are people out there that are snooping”.

He has further commented:

  • Consumers must not rely on preset passwords.
  • The ICO is planning on working with the Russian Authorities to have the website shutdown as according to UK legislation such a website would be deemed illegal.
  • According to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Data Protection 1998, those who have had their privacy breached cannot be contacted.
  • The biggest risk for the UK is that people continue to use unsecure passwords.
  • At present the ICO is unable to stop the Russian and similar websites due to them being located outside UK boarders.
  • If a UK website was guilty of similar conduct immediate action would be taken due to breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Manufacturers of webcams and similar technology have spoken out stating that they always encourage consumers to change default passwords and aim to continue to educate consumers on the importance of the same in order to protect themselves from unwanted intrusion into their privacy.

A security expert for the University of Surrey, Professor Alan Woodward has outlined the following rules to observe when choosing a password:

  • Do not choose a word that is obviously associated to you due to the fact that hackers trawl through social media to glean personal information, (if you do this and you’re a narcissist you’re in trouble!)
  • Do not choose words that appear in the English dictionary as hackers have access to technology that can reverse engineer such passwords.
  • Do use an unusual mix of characters.
  • Don’t use the same password for different systems for obvious reasons!
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