Digital is a large part of our day-to-day lives. Staying one step ahead of would be attackers should be more about prevention than cure. The defensive mindset is now thinking, when you are going to suffer a breach. Musing that “it only happens to others” (loss of data or stolen identity) is fraught with danger.
Social hacking is the first way hackers try to get your information. Unfortunately most of us are leaving the door wide open for the bad guys. We leave ourselves vulnerable to the would be attackers or anybody trying to steal our data. They try to get into your bank accounts, email, personal records etc.
There’s no way that we can cover every single thing, every single vulnerability.
We deconstructed some vulnerabilities in systems from a number of recent case studies. These are from people whose systems had been compromised. We have learnt a few things.
The way social hacking works is that hackers study your public information. You post a share on Facebook, the snippets on Twitter, the latest Instagram pose. What about the public records stored throughout the Internet? We all have information stored in Government files. Where you live, your property information for example. The hackers are chasing it all. The hackers collect as much information as they can. When they’re ready to guess, the profile makes it so much easier to break into your information. The bad guys go after your passwords. They go after your money or break into your website. They can narrow it down to a set group of parameters.
They look up things like your mother’s maiden name. If you’re friends with your Mum on Facebook, it’s not hard to figure out your mother’s maiden name. Other easy picks, your kid’s names, we all share pictures of our kids on Facebook or Instagram. Our birthdays seem such public information and common knowledge these days. It is like a game to tell people “Happy Birthday” on Facebook. Crazy things like your brother’s middle name get noted to make up a profile. They just study you and your friend’s list and they go out and “crawl” that information. A quick Google search can give these would be villains a ton of private personal information. This is information you hold close to yourself but allows them to break into your system.
Do this if you can tonight, take an hour; it will take you one hour. It will be one of the most important hours you spend keeping your online footprint secure. Don’t let convenience be one of the excuses that gets you get hacked.
Change all passwords tonight to something that’s cryptic. Your passwords should be scrambled and at least 12-15 characters long. We recommend using the longest allowable. If they let you use 21 characters, use 21 characters. The length of your password will protect you better than anything. Do not use any real words, real names or English language words in your passwords. Random.Org is a password generator that can help with non-predictable, sophisticated passwords.
Now we are aware that you all have a stack of passwords. If we make them even more complex how do we manage this? Be sure to check out Lastpass. You only need to remember one master password and you get access to your passwords anywhere you work. Only you know your master password so only you can access your encrypted vault. Online Journey uses Lastpass to help store all passwords and secure information.
The other quick win is to enable two-factor authentication. Most of your banks have this as an option, even Facebook have it. Some request that you use Google Authenticator. Use this where it is on offer.
Change your password and enable two-step authentication. By doing these two things, you’re boosting the way you protect your identity.
There are many areas you need to focus on when it comes to online security. These steps are a great start to help protect you with your online journey.
Food for thought:
- 47% of Australians had their data compromised in the last 12 months
• 600,000 unauthorised Facebook logins happen every day
• Identity theft happens every 2 seconds
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at Online Journey.
- Image Credit – LoboStudio – Hamburg – www.lobostudio.de