Giving your name at a local Starbucks could open yourself up to trouble as targeted attacks by hackers are steadily increasing. File picture: Gene J. Puskar/AP

Cape Town - Giving your name at a local Starbucks could open yourself up to trouble as targeted attacks by hackers are steadily increasing. 

Innocently providing your name at your local coffee shop is just an example of how easy it can be for miscreants to cut through the "privacy" of social media accounts, said Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET South Africa.

It might seem innocent as baristas asking for your name for a "personalised" experience at Starbucks but once you have given your name to the barista within earshot of any prying ears, you are giving away personal information that could later be used against you.

With a first name, someone could find your surname, the company you work for and contact details within minutes. 

"People don’t change easily, and when people don’t care about the issue, it makes it harder to persuade them not to fall into potential pitfalls. Companies who make it compulsory to use a unique password and authenticator app to sign in, would give their data and networks a stronger defence," said ESET in a statement.

"Inevitably, there will be an immediate outcry from and torrent of angry tweets by inconvenienced customers. However, if people don’t change by choice, making security mandatory will soon make their companies and their customers much safer, without having to worry about splashing our data on our personalised coffee cups."

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