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Still check the autofill: This will save you an apology

Too many applications are focused on convenience for the users over any other factor. This increases, in theory, productivity and the number of systems using the app. One of these options is the autofill. This has been noted and used by most users in one app or another. This may be used in Excel, Outlook, and many other well-used and widely accepted apps.

Earlier this month, while in a meeting, I received an email title 2017 Bonus. This did not apply to me and the email notice was closed out. Post-meeting, the email was opened for curiosity’s sake. The email was intended for another person with the same first name, but a different last name. I responded back with “Uh oh” once I had noted the issue. The HR representative had just typed in the first letters of the first name. The HR representative promptly replied that he/she was “Truly sorry for sending” the email. The sensitive information contained therein was the other person’s bonus letter for 2017, which was $11,565.65.

As with most of life’s events, there is something to be learned. Convenience is not always the best alternative. When the user depends too much on the equipment without a quick sanity check, issues can fall through the cracks. Even with such a simple action, such as sending an email, can create significant and embarrassing issues.

About the Author - Charles Parker, II has been working in the info sec field for over a decade, performing pen tests, vulnerability assessments, consulting with small- to medium-sized businesses to mitigate and remediate their issues, and preparing IT and info sec policies and procedures. Mr. Parker’s background includes work in the banking, medical, automotive, and staffing industries.

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