It’s happened to everyone at some point on the web. Even to those seasoned and technically-savvy veterans of the Internet.
It is guaranteed to happen to those who surf the Net without a parachute and in complete and total ignorance.
You’ve been hacked.
It’s a good chance everyone who has ever owned a Twitter or Facebook account has been hacked at some point. How? When you don’t pay attention to what you are clicking. Some of those too-good-to-be-true or sexy salacious stories come with a hacksaw. You usually know when one of your buddies tells you they’ve just received some weird message from your account.
How do you get out of a social hack? Change your password. Log out. Log back in with the new password. Use a complicated password, like: iReallywantTogoto1henew5tarwarsMovi7 or something half that long.
You really do need a unique password for every account. Don’t use the same one across the board or something simple, like benandsandy if those are your kids’ names.
Even if your computer is Fort Knoxed, you can still get hacked. Your information is as secure as the IT from the companies you deal with. If Amazon decides to save money on IT and put it into a new launch instead, unless they have a blackhacker on staff, all their information is put at risk if their IT is not as tip top as they can pay for.
Need an example, besides Sony (which isn’t just about movies but also your Playstation)? Here are some biggies:
Go Daddy, Dropbox, Nissan, Mastercard, Visa, Reuters… in 2012
Facebook, Microsoft, NBC, Twitter… in 2013
Target, Michaels, AT&T, US and Canadian governments, Home Depot, Apple iCloud… in 2014
Anthem, IRS, JP Morgan Chase, British Airways… most recent
There is no getting around it. The Dark Web, where all of this information gets sold as hackers make money on your behalf, is bigger than the Internet you are currently using.
You can’t hide. Even if you decide to put a moratorium on Internet travel, you can’t control what other companies do when you shop in person, or how secure your cable company’s records are. You can only use best practices and be diligent: strong and unique passwords (so what if you have to write them down in a book), don’t do banking from a public wifi (coffee shops, airports), make sure your computer is fully upgraded and not too old for upgrades (I don’t use my Windows XP laptop online anymore), have a really good and fully updated antivirus program.