Learn how to search yourself online: Will hackers like what they find?

When it comes to online security and protecting personal information, it can be difficult to know what is publicly available. The most recent SANS newsletters dives into how people can find what information is readily available about them online, and how hackers take advantage of this information.

One way to start is to research yourself online through a process called, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). While all information is not available on a singular place or website, starting on one website reveals some details, then you’re able to use those details to search on and learn from other sites. There are numerous sites to learn information as well. There are sites dedicated to specifically learning about people, as well as sites like Google Images, Google Maps, and social media profiles that provide detailed information.

Here are a few ways to search for information and see what is available online:

  • “FirstName LastName” – What information can I find online about this person

  • “Firstname Lastname@” – Find possible email addresses associated with this person

  • “Firstname lastname” filetype:doc – Any word documents that contain this person’s name

With this valuable information in mind, it’s imperative to be cautious about publicly shared information, and also know what is already available to the public. To view the full content of this newsletter filled with more in-depth ways hackers take advantage of publicly shared information from people, click here.