Twitter was hit with another phishing attack this week. Just last night in fact, I got this message in my Twitter DM inbox. It's from a person I know, so I clicked on the link only to be brought to a Twitter-like login screen. I knew I was already logged in so I quickly clicked away and notified my friend that she had been hacked. Earlier this week Twitter was hit with a similar phishing scam, which after gaining your login deets, sent out mass messages about herbal Viagra. I'm sure your friends would have loved that!If I had actually "logged in" again, my Twitter account would have been taken over by hackers (most likely hacking "bots"), then used to send out the same message to all of my followers. Spam messages could then be sent out in epic proportions. Don't get scammed by these (or any) hackers! Find out how to keep your accounts safe on Twitter, and on any other website, with a few easy tips when you read more
But then, every time I read a news story like this one, which details how a German computer engineer discovered and published a code used to encrypt mobile phone calls, I get a little worried. I like to streamline my life by storing information and using services online as much as I can, but knowing there's a world full of hackers trying to break codes and steal information always makes me uneasy.
Do you worry about online security as much as I do? It's slightly reassuring to know there is a whole new generation of online security talent being discovered, but I know that also means there are more "bad guys" out to steal information, too.
Even though I prefer pen and paper to digital note-taking, there are some things that shouldn't be written down. Honestly, I find it a little ironic that there's a product called My Top-Secret Passwords Pad ($7). Top-secret? Sure, if it's locked in a drawer!I'm obviously wary to write down my passwords in fear they could get lost, stolen, or somehow fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, my reluctance to record them creates another problem: I am now probably registered with 30 websites requiring a username and password. I try to use the same or similar passwords for sites like blogs I'm registered with or other sites that don't contain important or private information, but there's always the rogue site that requires you come up with an intricate combination of letters, numbers, and special characters during their registration process.
In those cases, I suppose keeping my passwords written down in a central location wouldn't be that terrible — and this notepad is pretty cute. With space for the site name, user name, password, email used, and security questions it certainly covers all the bases.
If you have WiFi and live in an apartment building, you may notice there are lots of other WiFi networks visible on your network list (and naturally, your neighbors can probably see yours as well). Although this fact alone isn't dangerous, it can be if your own network isn't password protected. Leaving your wireless signal open could put you at risk of intruders illegally downloading on your bandwidth, stealing personal info, and even gaining access to your personal documents on your home computers and laptops.
So when setting up wireless Internet at home, make sure you set a password that is long and hard to remember so your home network isn't hacked. Read through your wireless routers instructions carefully for step-by-step instructions. And, hey, Mac users — just because your computer is at a lower risk for viruses, that doesn't mean your wireless can't be hacked as easily as everyone elses, especially if you're using a lame password!
I can honestly say that I've never had a problem dreaming up complicated passwords — and by complicated I mean I can never remember them! I've gone on about the importance of creating a unique password before, but for those of you who love the abc123 passwords of the world, there's a great site to help you create a tricky password once and for all. With Safepasswd, all you have to do is type the kind of password you want — from easy to remember, or letters, or numbers — and then how long you want it to be and Safepasswd will work its magic. Not a fan of the password it generated? Just click the blue button and it'll generate a new one for you.
While more than 72 percent of you admit to being security junkies, the facts are clear: Our data isn't always secure.
Most of us sign-up for more online communities, services and mailing lists than we can wrap our minds around so it's easy to misplace that Post-It note with all your usernames. Here are few facts and suggestions for keeping your private business private.
Do you chronically blank on your passwords? If so, I have a little tip that can make things much easier on you: you can recover saved passwords from any site in Firefox in five easy steps! Ready? Here we go:
- Right click anywhere on the web page you need to sign in to.
- Select "View Page Info"
- Click on the "Security" tab in the menu.
- Click on "View Saved Passwords"
- Click on "Show Passwords"
You can then view all user names and saved passwords that have been stored by your Firefox cookies.
Is this tip helpful? Yes — I have forgotten many a password in my day and this would have saved me time and frustration. Is this tip dangerous? Possibly — if your computer isn't password protected and it just so happens to fall into the wrong hands, you could be setting yourself up for a problem. My solution would be to use this little tip when you need it, but remember to password protect your computer so it's safely locked when you aren't around!
I can't tell you enough how important email and online security is! I've been a little obsessed with the recent Sarah Palin email hacking scandal, but have put off saying much about it — until now. The suspected hacker — a 20-year old University of Tennessee student, and son of state representative Mike Kernell — was seen in front of the Grand Jury on Tuesday, and was let go without an indictment. Although there aren't many details as to what was or was not found, I suspect that the search for the real hacker continues.
Although hacking into anyone's personal account is a violation of the law and should be prosecuted accordingly, what really makes me uncomfortable is knowing how easy it was for the hacker to break into her account! Just by guessing a few password reset questions and some research on Wikipedia, they were in. I've talked in length about protecting your log-ins, but it's only a few security questions that separate hackers from your personal email when a password reset has been requested. Be diligent in keeping those questions and passwords hard to guess, and you won't have to worry about your emails displayed on the web, or your identity being stolen!
Online passwords are the 21st century padlocks; get them leaked and you're vulnerable to all kinds of nasty invasion. You have to be really careful who you share them with — if ever! At most workplaces, it's a huge no-no to share your password with anyone, but if you have email, a bank card, WiFi, or belong to any social networks, chances are you have a ton of personal passwords (and I hope they're not lame).
What's your thoughts on passwords? Do you share them with anyone, or do you keep them all under lock and key?
I came across this Open Sesame Password Reminder Book on Outblush yesterday, and at first I was like, "That's kinda cute," but then after more consideration, I realized it probably isn't a good idea. Here's why: Security! Remember how I was telling you about how important it is to have complex passwords, or possibly run the risk of someone ruining your personal record, or worse, stealing your identity? All that is out the window if someone gets a hold of your password reminder book. Unless I kept it under strict lock and key, I would be a nervous wreck thinking about what would happen if I lost it.
But, of course, if I lost the key, I'd be totally screwed.
Maybe it's a better idea to keep your passwords in a protected file in your computer, or better yet, a secure password storage device!