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How Good Do You Feel About Your Cloud Security?
When most of us think about our online security, we tend to feel very pleased about ourselves because none of our friends are able to guess our password. And, as far as personal privacy is concerned, we are right to assume that our friends, acquaintances, and the occasional stalker are all that we have to guard against. However, with the great advantages of the cloud comes great responsibility.
The cloud is making available for free a fantastic array of tools and apps that make life more beautiful. But each one of these tools means a new path that hackers can use to access our online data, and if they can break one barrier, it is likely that they can break all.
A couple of months ago, Gizmodo, an IT news site, started to post all kinds of garbage over Twitter. Obviously it wasn’t their own doing, but that of a hacker who was able to hack the iCloud account of one of Gizmodo’s former contributors. From there, the hacker was able to change the Google password of that user, wipe the data on his MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad, and further hack the contributor’s and Gizmodo’s Twitter accounts.
So there are two questions that you need to ask yourself: How interesting a target are you? And how interesting targets are the people and businesses you are even in the least bit connected with? The answer is crucial not only for your partners but also for yourself because hackers will usually smash your data too just for the fun of it or for making sure that there is nothing leading back to them.
And once you begin to realize that everything, from the smallest iPhone or Android app to a website you contributed to, is a possible gateway to your other, more private online endeavors, you begin to realize how important it is to have secure passwords. And the operative word here is passwords because we already know how to create a strong password, but we rarely create more than two or three for our entire online life. In fact, most people will use one password for their vital accounts, those connected to banks or to online businesses, and the second for their private lives. But the problem is that even the most secure password can be cracked in time and the best thing you can do is to make sure that only one of your online resources will be exposed.
There is also a second lesson in Gizmodo’s tale of security—they were attacked through one of their former contributors. And yet they had not removed the contributor’s access privileges. And that is something we often do: we keep connections to sites and apps that we no longer use and thus we keep open doors to our private lives that translate into even more opportunities for hackers to access them.
So if you want to keep your private affairs private, take the time to create secure passwords for each one of your accounts. And, just as importantly, once you are done with an online connection, make sure to delete all ties to it for both your and their security.
By Luchi Gabriel Manescu