Storytime:  The Hacker!

Systems and companies get hacked.  The biggest one in the tech sector is Yahoo back in August 2013 where 3 billion accounts were targeted. and again in 2014 where 500 million accounts were targeted unrelated (Larson, 2017). As reported vital information that was compromised from the yahoo hacks was the sign-in information, most importantly, passwords.

Now fast forward to December 2019, and I got an email saying that there was an attempt to get into my personal social media accounts.  Not saying that the Yahoo incident is at all related since it could have come from multiple other sites I use.  However, it illustrates a key aspect of living a digital life… Are we really safe from hackers?  Thankfully they didn’t succeed to access my account, but that won’t stop them in the future from trying my accounts again or yours.

Mark Goodman (n.d.a.), explains that there is an asymmetry in cyber threats, where the white hats (good guys) have to explore every possible corner to prevent a hack, whereas the hackers only have to find one weakness to hacking into a system.

Goodman (n.d.a., n.d.b.) in the Art of Charm podcast and Lewis Howes podcast proposed the following acronym: UPDATE, as one of many ways to protect yourself.

  • U – update frequently. (LastPass, 1Password)
  • P – passwords. Use a different password for every site and get a reliable password manager. Don’t use your Facebook account to login to other site.
  • D – downloads. Watch your downloads and be cautious about what you install. Download from authorized sources only.
  • A – administrator. Don’t run your computer using the administrator account (unless necessary).
  • T – turn off your computer. If it isn’t fully turned off it’s still accessible, especially when not in use, or at least the wifi.
  • E – encrypt. This scrambles your data unless you have the password and proper computational keys. There are 2 types: you can encrypt the data on your computer and encrypt the data as it is sent out using a VPN.

Resources:

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