The recent news reports of hackers attacking various websites, companies and government organizations has prompted those particular groups and individuals alike to question their online security and vulnerabilities.
Latest headlines have focused on groups known as LulzSec and Anonymous for their high profile attacks during the summer of 2011. While those stories can be a bit unnerving, those groups only represent a small percentage of those who can do the same sort of hacking or security bypass. Now, more than ever, there are individuals who are knowledgeable enough to break down security features and circumvent protection processes to gain access to personal, important or even vital information. Consider this a preliminary article on your way to gaining more online security knowledge.
Anonymous Threatens Facebook
Anonymous’ latest threat is directed towards Facebook, vowing to “destroy” them on November 5, 2011. Whether or not they can actually damage Facebook remains to be seen, but it again raises the question from average users, “What can I do to protect myself and my data?”
Protecting Your Online Data
If you live in the modern age of online banking, shopping, off-site working or even using email, then you’ve entrusted your personal information to some other party to protect. Many of the media stories involve hacking of bank servers or sites where financial information is stored. The quick and simple answer is, there is absolutely nothing you can do to protect your online data once you’ve given it away. It’s up to the company, organization or online service to protect your data. Knowing you can’t do anything is likely not very comforting, but it saves users from wasted energy trying to figure out how to protect it. The most pivotal thing a user can do is immediately change the password on the account which can prevent future data loss. Unfortunately, that change will not undo the damage that’s already been done.
Wasting energy on a security issue you cannot control will only increase your anxiety about future data breaches. By understanding it’s beyond your control you can put more effort towards areas of security that are within your control and become personally more secure. You’ve taken the risk by entrusting your data to online companies and in order to enjoy the benefits you’ll need to continue sharing your information. With that risk comes some responsibility and we’re going to help you pinpoint your weak spots over the course of the next several months so you can better protect yourself.
Initially, the expectation was to focus on online security as a whole, then decided to split the topic down into several parts because of the lengthy and at times complex nature of the subject. Neither of those options seem adequate enough to cover online security so instead we’ll we dedicating several articles a month to online security through the end of the year. We’ve preached about the importance of security to clients over the years, but we can better serve our readers by doing the same. Please let us know if there is a specific area of online security you would like to learn about and we’ll try to fit the topic into an article. As always, your comments are welcome.