Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Security Breach Alert: Change Passwords Now!

"Computer Hacker" by chanpipat
Just this evening, I read an email sent from Nuffnang, a blog advertising community, urging bloggers to change their Nuffnang passwords due to hacking issue. Whether you receive that email or not, if you are a Nuffnang member, take the time to change your password.

Several years ago, I find hacking cool. But now, I realize that there is really nothing cool about it. It's plain act of theft that should be punishable by law. I'm sorry Mat Honan but I totally disagree with you for letting those hackers go. They have wrecked your life! They deleted the photos of your daughter--those years of treasured memories, accessed your Twitter account and deleted your Gmail! Oh, com'on, man!

Last June, we've heard of LinkedIn's stolen passwords. Almost 6.5 million passwords were said to be hacked and posted in a hacker site. Though most of the passwords were undecoded, "small subset of the hashed passwords was decoded and published." LinkedIn locked down those accounts they believed were compromised and notified those members to change their passwords.

It wasn't only LinkedIn that had to go through that hacking horrors. In July, Yahoo! apologized for the alleged data breach of 400,000 users. Yahoo! reported that only 5% of those accounts had valid passwords. However, that doesn't really ease that tension of a potential threat to your account.

During this hacking trend, Dropbox implemented a two-factor authentication like Google for added security. This safety measure was after it was found out through an investigation that "stolen usernames and passwords from other websites" were used to sign in Dropbox.

The security breach among different sites leave many users thinking about the insufficient protection against hackers. Nevertheless, as responsible users, let us take the extra steps of protecting ourselves. It is kind of tiring of having to create unique passwords in every sites and change passwords every 3 to 6 months, but these are something that we need to do.

Let me share some important reminders about passwords (source: Google)
  • Use a unique password for all your important accounts. 
  • Use a long password 
  • Use a password with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols 
  • Try using a phrase that only you know 
  • Make sure your password recovery options are up-to-date and secure 
  • Keep your password reminders in a secret place that isn’t easily visible 
  • Add an extra layer of security to your Google Account

Watch this video of Mat Honan, Wired senior writer, telling about the hacking attack:

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  1. I always change my password regularly-Im paranoid in case I get hacked, and I always use colloquial capampangan words and combination with numbers that aren't my birthdays or my family birthdays.

    1. You have a real reason to be paranoid. That I guess is a best practice that every internet user should be aware of... In the past, I used similar passwords in most of my accounts. Currently, I am using unique passwords for every accounts...my trouble is, I am having a hard time remembering them...


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