Although we think we are careful when it comes to security on line, our laziness is often our undoing. We take great pains to think up a secure password. The best of us even include some non alpha numeric characters, as well as numbers, upper case and lower case letters. just to make it harder to crack. Having created, what we think is the perfect password, we use it for a variety of things … and there’s the trap!
In 2012 the professional networking site, Linkedin, was hacked and the information was published on line. Included in that data was between 4 and 6 million passwords. It didn’t hit the headlines (although it should have!) at the time because the rest of the information released was boring and apparently not too sensitive.
However they missed the point – this is a professional networking site. It’s not facebook with a cross section of the community. These folks are preselected for income and juicy data. Chances are they are busy too – too busy to memorize a heap of different passwords. Those leaked passwords are probably the same ones for their Internet banking, unlocking their home or work PC, email and a host of other secured sites. Because Linkedin is a professional networking site, the hacker already knows where they work now and have done so in the past – or in other words, they know where to target their attempts.
Artist, Aram Barthell, has painstakingly complied all those 4 to 6 million passwords into an alphabetically organized list. If you have forgotten yours, it’s probably on that list. Was yours one of them?
I have been on Linkedin for ages. I don’t know if my account was one of the ones hacked but I never received any notice to tell me to change my passwords. When I heard of the breach, I was concerned because, being a professional site, like many professionals, I used my business password to access it. My first thought was to change my Linkedin password, but what use is that?
It’s like bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted!
Also, a smart hacker could access an account linked to mine and get access to my information that way too. So reluctantly I deleted my Linkedin account, losing all my old links and started a new one. This time it has an individual password.
There are three ways into any social media account:
(1) – direct access by the users password
(2) – through another linked account
(3) – through a security flaw, breach or forced (hacked) entry.
How secure is yours?