I don’t know whether to be scared, insulted or flattered: Apparently I’m worth $695 to the “underground community”.
The figure comes from an online promotional tool by Symantec designed to value your online security. It’s based on a 10-page quiz asking general questions about what type of activity you carry out online, how much money is available through your online accounts, and what security measures you take.
There has been some confusion about every result apparently giving a value of $11.29. However, it appears this is simply an estimation of the lowest amount a criminal might pay, and is a figure which will come up for many, if not most users. The higher figure in each result is a little more confusing but appears to represent how much a cybercriminal could make from your details, presumably taking into account their chances of wiping out your accounts before being blocked.
For what it’s worth, I tried the test again from the perspective of a 70-year-old grandmother who has an e-mail account but does nothing else online but surf web pages and never types any personal details or buys anything. The results showed a criminal would pay at least 10c for the information and valued her online identity at $50.
It would be interesting to hear what results GeeksAreSexy readers get and how credible you find them. From my perspective it seems to be a bit gimmicky, though it certainly doesn’t do any harm to make people think about the information they have available online, particularly the potential financial damage a cybercriminal could do with the right usernames and passwords.
The site is designed to promote the newly-released Norton Internet Security, which debuts what’s billed as a new “technology” named Quorum. It’s designed to tackle the problem of malware which is specifically designed for a short shelf life, doing as much damage as possible in the day or so before the security community identifies it and anti-virus software can be updated.
Quorum works by assigning every piece of software with a reputation rating, taking into account when it was created, how common it is, and how popular any site it came from is. A recently created file originating from a little-known website will automatically be treated as suspicious, regardless of whether it triggers any of the traditional question marks or matches any known viruses.