Cyber security is a complex but essential reality of today’s world. It can seem a little overwhelming at times–physical security is much simpler: you have a gun, you point it at the door, you shoot bad guys if they come in and try to hurt you or your family. If they climb through the window, you push them back out. Hackers, on the other hand, are entering through windows and doors you never even knew existed. Instead of your jewelry and television, they’re after your personal information.

That’s where a lot of people shrug off the severity of the situation. Despite differing opinions toward the value of privacy, many would admit that they don’t really have ultra-sensitive information lying around on their Facebook or Instagram profiles. Most people realize that identity theft is a real threat, but short of stealing credit card numbers many are unsure as to how this is actually a threat.

AP Photo/David Goldman

Alex Green, former Army Ranger (TSE) and founder of Windsor Security, provides cyber security for home and small to medium businesses. Few people know the ways you can use personal information to your advantage more than him. “Let’s take phone numbers,” he said, “most people don’t realize that Facebook shares your phone number by default. What can you do with a phone number? Everything. From a myriad of information gathering websites, you can quickly find names, email addresses, actual addresses, social media profiles, and if you dive deep enough, social security numbers.” During the interview, Green pulled up a scary amount of information about myself–past addresses, family members, old and new email addresses, and other things I’d rather not write about here.

“Okay, so what?” was my next question. None of that information could be used to effectively blackmail or coerce me into doing anything, and just knowing all my email addresses doesn’t mean they have access to them.