How secure are your online accounts … really?

Posted By on August 5, 2012

Internet security was again in the news last week with Gizmodo’s Twitter account getting hacked and although we are all vulnerable, many of us figure it will happen to someone else. I use to be concerned that “one” of my accounts or logins would be hacked, but after realizing just how interconnected things have become, I’m thinking all of my data is at risk. Web accounts, computers, tablets and cellphones … they are all vulnerable. Even an off-site or cloud stored backup is at risk.

I generally avoid linking web logins with Facebook or Twitter accounts for just this reason, but due to requirements or just laziness on my part have started using them … and don’t get me started about the weak passwords that go unchanged in many of my older accounts. After reading Mat Honan’s Emptyage blog post, I’m thinking it may be time update my passwords and to revisit my security precautions? At minimum, just changing passwords and burning a few back up DVDs or unplugged harddrive with photos, etc might not be a bad idea.

Here’s what happened:

At 4:50 PM, someone got into my iCloud account, reset the password and sent the confirmation message about the reset to the trash. My password was a 7 digit alphanumeric that I didn’t use elsewhere. When I set it up, years and years ago, that seemed pretty secure at the time. But it’s not. Especially given that I’ve been using it for, well, years and years. My guess is they used brute force to get the password (see update) and then reset it to do the damage to my devices.


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