This week’s incident is on everybody’s lips. You most probably know what we’re talking about, but in case you’ve been stranded on a desert island for the past couple of days, let me sum it up for you: the internet was overwhelmed by the nude photos of celebrities like Jenifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kate Uptown and at least a dozen of other female stars. Their iCloud accounts have supposedly been hacked, and while there are heated discussions and countless speculations on how it was done, the only conclusion you need to draw from this is that it can happen to you, too.
How did this happen?
It is very possible that we will never know, but here are a few possibilities:
- Password reset (secret questions / answers)
While sincerity is usually encouraged and makes for a valuable quality in a friend or business partner, providing the true answers to your security questions, while setting up your account, might not be the most intelligent move, especially if they’re the only thing you rely on for recovering your passwords.
Hopefully not you
2. Phishing emails
Phishing email messages are used by hackers for stealing money or your personal information. The good news is it’s really easy to spot one if you always remember to check for bad grammar, links in text (those shalt not be clicked), and threats (ex.: your account will be deleted if you don’t reply).
3. Social engineering / RAT install / authentication
Remote Access Tools are pieces of software used to remotely access or control a computer. While it can be of great use for system administrators or that guy who always fixes your computer, it can also be used to perform key logging, screen and camera capture, file access, code execution, registry management etc.
You should verify every program before installing it on your computer by using authorized program signatures.
A few easy things you can do to make sure you won’t be next
- Don t use the same password for all your accounts
For all you might know, your password “qwerty”, “12345” or the ever popular “password” is working just fine for your Faceboook, Pinterest, Mail, Amazon & co.
Maybe you know better than that and use a complicated password with symbols and numbers. Congratulations! The thing is, even if that’s the case you shouldn’t use it for all your accounts because that is like giving somebody the skeleton key to your life.
It would be ideal to go through the trouble of setting up different complicated passwords for all your accounts, which in fact, it’s not hard to manage if you…
Keepass, Lastpass 1.72 and Kaspersky Password Manager 4, are all great options, are easy to use and fast to install. 5 minutes is a small price to pay for your peace of mind.
- Use two step verification
Most of the major sites offer this so just remember to check.
- Turn off automatic backups
Most of the cloud based services such as Google’s accounts or iCloud automatically sync every photo you take, contact you save, app you download or website you access.While you would rather have everything in one place in case you ever lose your phone or tablet, it’s better to turn it off.
It is , in the end, about comfort versus security and we live in an age when the most valuable things we own aren’t palpable. You know what they say: Better be safe than sorry!
Do you use any other methods? Sharing is caring so let us know in the comment section below!