Digital Digest September 17, 2017

Weekend Edition!

1. Big News

Data Security & You: let the paranoia begin

As physical creatures, our evolution hasn’t equipped us well to value our digital assets. (ex. it’s certainly easier to mind the ‘ol budget if all you can spend is cold hard cash vs. a swipe fest.) That must be why outrage over the Equifax hack which affected 143,000,000 this month (spoiler alert: you’re in it) hasn’t reached pitchfork and torch level…yet. What happened?…someone broke into your home, opened the safe and stole your social security card, driver’s license and that first page of your address book where you list all your old addresses.

How did this happen? In short, the Equifax IT team was asleep at the wheel for at least two months and didn’t bother to install a vital security patch. A very suspicious short sale suggests folks on the inside knew about the breach long before it was publically announced. Now, their stock has tanked, federal investigations have started and Equifax executives are fleeing like rats off the Titanic.

Why it matters

  • This is bad bad bad.
  • Every hacker who is involved in identity theft has just been given 143 million happy meals (your credit lines are the free prize).
  • For the most part, you always know where your physical wallet is. Right now, the same data that can open credit cards, bank accounts online and god knows what else is spread around hundreds of servers. Odds are a hack of this severity will happen again.

Daniel’s .000007 BTC

  • Stop everything. Freeze your records at the big four & get fraud alerts going. (here’s how)
  • This hack is a time bomb for everyone involved. You can change your passwords but you only have one social.
  • Expect to see those “which street did you live on in 2002” type challenge questions everywhere soon.

2. I wish I thought of that

Fat Lama is fresh from this Summer’s Y-Combinator demo day. You know that super expensive thing that you have…don’t use that often…but also don’t want to sell? (ex. NYC unfriendly drone, guitar amp collecting dust, 5D somewhere in the closet, etc.) Use Fat Lama to rent it out and make some loot.

3. Tool of the Week

Have I been pwned? — (for the non-gamers, pwned is a term meaning decimated). This site has been put together by white hats (hopefully) and allows you to see which data breaches you’ve been a part of. Simply enter your email and find out where all that SPAM originates.

4. Startup Radar

KeyMe- just raised a 25M D round from Comcast Ventures. It’s an app that allows you to copy physical keys using your smartphone. Just take a picture and you can have keys mailed to you or robocut at their many 24/7 kiosks. Have an unexpected pal in town while you’re on vaca? Just email them a key. (Side note, I met the founders post-seed back in 2013 at a startup meetup when I was hustling Seekr. They had IP around their camera to 3d model tech that must have contributed to their defensibility over the years).

5. From the Archives

I ran an 18 mile race this morning and got a bit nostalgic about R/GA’s early Nike work. Perhaps one of the greatest compliments that can be paid in hindsight for interactive tech or design is “it should have been obvious.” Those bets became the standard.



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