Lessons Learned from the Petraeus Scandal

The General Petraeus scandal has provided Americans with valuable Internet privacy lessons, according to a recent article by www.itworld.com. In fact, the Website recently published “Seven things we can learn from the Pentagon sex scandal.” From the privacy of our e-mail accounts to leaving your work at work, let’s take a look at a few of the lessons learned from what is now being deemed as “Love Pentagon.”

  • E-mail accounts are not really anonymous!

After Paula Broadwell sent a “keep your hands off my man” e-mail to Jill Kelley from a pseudonymous Webmail account, she most likely thought she couldn’t be tracked. She was wrong. The FBI quickly tracked down Broadwell’s real identity by following the IP address used by the computer that sent the anonymous e-mails.

Lesson learned: “IP addresses aren’t perfect unique identifiers, because they are sometimes shared — but they’re a pretty good start.”

  • Watch out for what you ask for

Inviting someone to look into your business is risky, especially when it’s the FBI, because there’s no way to control what they find. Jill Kelley might be regretting that now after the Feds found thousands of flirtatious e-mails from Kelley to another four-star general.

Lesson learned: “Keep in mind what the state of your ‘business’ is before inviting someone to come in and take a look at that business.

  • Leave your work at work

Paula Broadwell had thousands of classified documents on her computer and in hard copies at her home. Bad idea. While she was a security analyst for the military, taking home sensitive files can cause problems, such as loss of data or that data finding its way into the wrong hands.

Lesson learned: If absolutely necessary, secure documents while in transit and at home, but get your boss’ permission first.

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