What's In Your Registry?

One frequent TV commercial asks, "What's in your wallet?" I ask: What's in your computer that could expose sensitive data? Last week, I searched my Windows Vista registry and turned up some disturbing stuff.

I found some surprising personal information there, such as name, address and phone number; online account user names; software registration codes; and information identifying some online accounts. I wasn't looking for any of this information. My search had initially been for something else. But the discovery of this information greatly disturbed me. To be absolutely clear, none of this information was put there by Windows Vista. Third-party software or services were the culprits.

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News source: MS-Watch

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9 Comments

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The point is that in Windows XP website ActiveX Scripts, web forms and most applications you install have access to your registry. so if a known website or application added your personal information to your registry it could be read by other websites. So if you registered and put in your personal info on 1 web site, and then went to play a game on another website, the second website could read your personal information stored in your registry without you realizing it.

Windows vista does not allow 3rd party applications to read registry values other than there own. the logo on this article should be replaced with an xp logo.

if you search "My Documents" folder you also will find personal information, such as your name, phone number, SSN and a lot of other information. So, what exactly is the point of these "news"?

1 - why its on font page?
2 - its not properly written.. gives all wrong impression that its fault of Windows Vista unless u read last statement.

<snipped>, really pumping out the quality news! Let's have some more stuff from the Registry and Inquirer while we're at it!

cork1958 said,
Duh! What, is this your first day with a computer?

This is on the front page?

I don't think most people realize HOW MUCH personal info is in the registry. It could be read by any malicious program, from even "legitimate" mainstream apps.

I found some surprising personal information there, such as name, address and phone number; online account user names; software registration codes; and information identifying some online accounts.

That's hardly a surprise to anyone with some knowledge of how data are stored in their PCs. A possible solution might be encryption, but that protection is effective only in the case that someone stole your computer. For malware or compromised account the info is easily accessible as before because at some point decryption will happen, then you can have it.

Bottom line is, if someone has access to your computer, then it's not your computer anymore.