Celebrities are learning their Password Safety lessons the hard way and unfortunately, their private images are falling into the hands of the wrong people – namely hackers. There’s been a huge amount of coverage in the press over the last few weeks about cloud storage and other online services– and more importantly, how secure they are. The answer is, of course, dependent on how you apply passwords and privacy settings to them.
There are a few easy steps you can take to help avoid being the subject of a hacker (somebody who seeks and exploits weaknesses in computer systems or networks) and to protect your personal information.
Typically, incidents of image pilfering are a direct result of weak passwords – by using a password that’s easy to guess (name of a pet, birthdate, child’s name, for example), you’re increasing the possibility of somebody being able to get into your personal accounts. And of course, once they’re in, your details are as good as theirs.
It’s also wise to note that once a hacker has gained access to your email account, they can request a password reset – meaning they can reset passwords to your online accounts, including social media, and access even more details.
There’s a relatively new way of ensuring maximum online security and that’s by using ‘’two-factor authentication’’. An example of this would be a text message sent to your phone which contains a short code. An account can only be accessed when the code that was texted to you is entered; these are often used when an account is accessed from a new location.
Of course, it is reasonable to expect some degree of privacy online. However, also think about whether you’d want other people to see the images or details – if the answer is ‘no’, think carefully about the controls and access settings you put around them.
So, to summarise:
- The most secure passwords contain at least 8 characters – and, at best, 14. Yes, we know it’s long but it’s also more secure!
- Don’t recycle passwords – have different passwords for different accounts. If hackers discover one password, they’ll very easily be able to work their way into other accounts.
Remember; as far as the cloud is concerned, deleting an image off your phone (for example) doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been removed from the cloud so be sure to check.
Online security needn’t be a worry – so long as you use the snippets of advice we’ve shared, you’ll be much more protected than if you don’t.