By now you’ve probably heard the news: a group of Russian criminals successfully stole an estimated 1.2 billion online passwords, making it quite possibly the biggest data breach in Internet security ever. This news, first reported by The New York Times on August 5, 2014, may have you wondering, “Is my information as secure as I think it is?” as well as “How could this have happened?”
While the news of the stolen passwords is disheartening, there are some important lessons to be learned from this debacle. First off, let’s examine how this breach occurred.
How they did it:
Although it may sound difficult to obtain 1.2 billion passwords, it seems that the Russian criminals were able to get them with ease. According to The New York Times, many websites were targeted, including social media sites requiring people to create a username and password. Many email addresses were also stolen.
How you could prevent it:
It’s easy to feel powerless when it comes to Internet security … especially when you’re the victim! Rather than sitting there feeling helpless, here are some steps you can take to prevent further similar hacking attempts:
- Change your passwords frequently. You should change your passwords every 30-180 days. This is considered one of the best ways to prevent problems as it limits the time a potential hacker has to access your account with a stolen password.
- Check your privacy settings – especially on Facebook. Are you sure that your account is as secure as it could be? When it comes to sites like Facebook, you are given a host of privacy options that are constantly changing. Check your privacy settings frequently to ensure your account is as secure as possible and to prevent hackers from accessing it.
- Keep your email hidden in your profiles. Have you ever visited a blog or another website where it is impossible to find an email address? You might see a contact form, but not the actual email written out. There’s a reason for this: no visible email = less chance of having said email stolen. By providing a contact form on your website instead of your actual email, people can contact you while you remain protected.
- Invest in a strong data security system. There’s no such thing as being too secure online and it pays to invest in a strong data security system. At Fasoo, we offer file-based security, print security, mobile security, secure coding analysis and more! We specialize in working with businesses to help ensure private files remain just that – private and secure. You’ll never have to worry about having your information stolen by hackers when you choose a good data security system like those from Fasoo.
While news of these stolen passwords and emails is alarming, it is important for you to sit up and learn from it. There are many precautions that you or any business can take to ensure that your data is never threatened online.