Sometimes it’s the worst things that can happen that become the eye-opening best things that effect positive change. The year 2012 saw numerous high-profile data breaches, epic hacks, full-on hacktivism and lots of major identity theft ring busts. The best news is the public is more aware, which means they are better equipped to protect themselves and law enforcement is well prepared to take down criminals. Individuals, companies and governments worldwide all have their eyes open and are taking action to protect themselves.
LinkedIn, Yahoo and many others were hacked—and hacked BIG. Unpatched system vulnerabilities and simple passwords were the common denominator in many of these hacks. It’s not enough to have antivirus protection; you also need antispyware, antiphishing, a firewall, updated critical security patches in your operating system and strong passwords that can’t easily be cracked. The good news is all these things are easy to do.
Wired reporter Matt Honan recounts how his connected digital life was used to destroy all his data. From this we learn that even a technologist is vulnerable and that there is no shortage of lessons to be learned from his experience.
“In many ways, this was all my fault. In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed,” he says. “First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook.”
The chance of this happening to you are slim, but knowing it’s possible will make you better prepared.
Hactivism Grows Up
Hackers have evolved significantly over the past 20 years. At first “hacker” meant someone who was inquisitive and tested the boundaries of technology. But then in the late ‘90s, hacker became a bad word as a result of a few hackers going too far and the media latching onto the title. Last year saw groups like Anonymous and others take action not just to disrupt, but also to right what they considered wrong. While their actions are often illegal, many feel they have evolved into a sort of voice for those that don’t have one.
The Long Arm of the Law
There isn’t a week that goes by that news reports of federal law enforcement, assisted by state, local and even foreign governments, takes down a carder ring or organized web mob responsible for stealing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. It was the year when the law got smart, savvy and as sophisticated as the criminal hackers, and that’s the best news of all!
Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Are you Hackable or Uncrackable? “Password Day” is Today!
Yes, such a day exists and it’s today, May 7th 2013. Intel and McAfee are working to make sure consumers increase their security awareness and front line of digital protection by asking everyone to change their passwords today. Reuse of passwords across multiple sites is a big problem. In the digital world, many of us are much
- Connecting the Dots–How Your Digital Life Affects Identity Theft and Financial Loss
You’re on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You use Gmail, Yahoo! and bank online. You might buy stuff on sites like Amazon and occasionally make purchases from eBay. Sometimes you apply for a loan online and maybe open up a credit card account too. This is all commonplace in today’s digital world. So how does all this
- 3 Stupid Simple Tips to protect your Identity
For anyone who goes online, it’s impossible to hack-proof yourself, but not impossible to make a hacker’s job extremely difficult. Here are three things to almost hack-proof yourself. Two-factor authentication. Imagine a hacker, who has your password, trying to get into your account upon learning he must enter a unique code that’s sent to your smartphone.
- Weak Passwords Can Cost You Everything
If your computer or mobile was hacked or your passwords were cracked and your data was lost or if all the websites you have an account with were hacked and all that information was the hands of a criminal, how devastated will you be? In McAfee’s study on the value of digital assets, consumers estimated the total
- Why it’s Critical to Protect Data on Digital Devices
When devices are lost or hacked and your data is exposed, not only is this a pain to deal with, but you could become a victim of identity theft. Not only do victims of identity theft suffer loss of time but they also lose money that may not be able to be recovered . In
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.