Article by Dawn Altnam
on 20 Dec 2012
HiringBoss is an industry-leader when it comes to data security. We take data protection seriously- which is why are the only eRecruiting platform in Asia to hold the prestigious Privacy Mark, the officially recogised gold seal of data privacy standards in Japan.
Here, in her 2nd HiringBoss blog, Dawn Altnam spotlights the concerns of some recent high-profile hack-cases and how you can be vigilant to protect yourself. Make sure that you demand that ALL your online service providers adhere to the highest of data security standards and ethics, just like we do at HiringBoss. And remember, be smart, be safe!
"If you haven’t already heard about it yet, there’s a “new” way hackers are compromising accounts. The hack is a rather low-tech way of creating high-tech problems for you. Even some of the biggest names in technology have been hit with it. Learn more about this particular exploit and what you can do to protect yourself from the problems that it causes.
Realizing you’ve been hit:
Normally people have no idea anything is wrong until they log in one day and realize that everything they hold precious in the virtual world is wiped or hacked. If you’re like most people, you think that you’re safe. You use strong passwords, don’t fall for phishing schemes and do everything right. So, how does this happen?
How it’s done:
Hackers simply call up the customer service department of Apple, or other major companies and, if they can provide a bit of simple information, they’re able to get the customer service agent to change your password. Now, they have access to your account. You may think that it would be complicated to get into one of these accounts, especially when dealing with customer service personnel; however, it’s much easier than you may think. Apple, for instance, require limited, easy to gather information. This information includes billing address, email address and the last digits of the credit card on the account. Once this information is provided, access to the account is available.
Once a hacker can get into a program like iCloud, it’s a short jump to get into your Gmail or other accounts. If you have ever gone to do anything online, you probably realize that anyone who can access your email can access everything. Learn more about how these accounts all connect so you understand better how to avoid major problems.
The clean up:
So now that you understand how it happens, what can you do to protect yourself? One of the main things you can do is create a separate account just for programs that you know to be unsecure. iCloud is one of the biggest offenders. If you create an iCloud account with its own information and without connection to your other accounts, you’ll prevent a lot of problems. Additionally, the standard advice of creating strong passwords is also always a good rule to follow.
One of the biggest problems with these hacking incidents is that users are losing all their data in the process. Backing up your information, especially that which is stored online is the best way to protect yourself from serious problems. You can even get software that will automatically performs backups. You can never be prepared enough.
No matter how careful you are, this is something that could happen to you. Don’t beat yourself up over it, fix the problems and do what you can to prevent issues in the future. Hopefully, with the press this issue has been getting, these companies will do more to protect the sensitive data of their customers."
About the author: Dawn Altnam lives and works in the Midwest, and she enjoys following the business tech world. After furthering her education, she has spent some time researching her interests and blogging of her discoveries often. Follow her on Twitter! @DawnAltnam