Sunday, February 17, 2013

It Has Happened to Me and It Can Happen to You, Too!

Nobody is immune. Hacking can happen to you too!

The information in this post can help protect your PINs and email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts from unauthorized use. I hope to read about your other suggestions in the comments below.

Every day I see a post from someone sharing that their account got hacked. There is no single cause for this but one thing that remains constant is that you've inadvertently allowed it. A lot of people "poo-poo" the need for strong passwords; until that is, they get hacked. Take some time to review Twitter's suggestions on keeping your account secure. Facebook also offers suggestions here.

Have your friends reported that you are sending them emails suggesting they buy "male enhancement" products? Some may actually thank you, but most are annoyed and tired of you becoming a victim of what's called Phishing. Watch this video (2:45) from my favorite explainers Lee and Sachi LeFever of Commoncraft, for an explanation of how Phishing works.



What about passwords and PINs? There's a good article published last October 2012, on the most commonly used passwords and how to choose a secure password. (Hey, teachers and students... don't use common words for your passwords! Don't compromise your educational institution's network by using an insecure password. It's not just about someone getting into your email. A hacker can do severe damage to an entire system by getting into the network with your credentials. To make matters worse, the IT folks can trace it back to you and your failure to secure your password.)

As for your ATM PIN? This infographic from BackgroundCheck.org presents this concept in a visual representation that is easy to understand:

How Safe Is Your PIN?
Infographic credit: BackgroundCheck.org

Have any of your accounts ever been hacked? How did it happen and what did you learn? What other suggestions do you have? I look forward to your comments.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

the irony here is that I recently received an email from an assistant admin at my school, telling me to make both my login and password available to Substitute teachers. somehow I think not.

Kayla sandifer said...

Hello! I am Kayla a student in EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. This was a very interesting blog and I learned somethings about passwords that I did not know. I am guilty of thinking no one would ever hack my personal social media or anything at that matter. But, of course, these things happen occasionally. I am glad you wrote about his because it caught my attention on how I really need to make sure that I am cautious about my passwords and pins. I did check to see which pins were common and they were not! So that was a reliever! Thank you for this informative post!

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Charlie Hendricks said...

My husband is a major computer geek. (he has degree in computer science...). He says it's not the strength of the password that is important but the practices and systems behind the password. He says the smart guys crack things with simple techniques and back doors that are wide open. Kind of creepy and scary.