From Hollywood celebrities getting their iCloud accounts hacked, to a denial-of-service attack on Sony's PlayStation Network - cybercrime is part and parcel of inhabiting the digital world. For every high-profile attack that hits the headlines there are many more to that go unnoticed.
Identity theft, malware and data breaches, are increasing in number and more importantly growing in sophistication. As this infographic from HOB, sourced from CloudTweaks, highlights the cost impost of cyber crime is rising and a thriving ecosystem of hackers are constantly fine-tuning their craft.
But there are ways to combat the threat and here are some steps (under the infographic) that make it harder for hackers to get hold of your information.
Making it harder for the hackers to break-in
The first thing, and this is an important one, is never use the same password for multiple online accounts. Yes it saves time but if this skeleton key falls in the hands of hackers, well they have got access to everything.
Passwords also need to be robust , with numbers and symbols a handy method to make it harder for intruders to break in via automated brute force techniques.
Understanding two-factor authentication is a must on the to-do list. Here’s how it works: There’s a normal login password, which is accompanied by a unique code usually received via an email or text message. If you are on a service that doesn’t provide two-factor authentication, then maybe it’s time to give it the flick.
Password fatigue is a very real thing – juggling multiple passwords and authentication isn’t easy and can lead to frustration. Luckily there are plenty of options in the market that help you manage the headache.
Password managers- that hide all of your different logins behind one password - are huge help and here are a few good ones tried and tested by Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler.
There is no such thing as hacker-proof cloud storage and Apple’s fancy footwork to control the damage caused by the hacking of the iCloud accounts of Hollywood stars isn’t going to change that.
Features like automated backup and syncing of devices are great benefits of the cloud but there’s always a downside.
In this case, the processes involve uploading data – that includes pictures - into remote servers. This makes the data vulnerable and one way to stay protected is to turn off automated backups. You lose the convenience but gain greater control.
Finding the right balance between the two is the key to staying safe.