Your Email Password is a Target
Interested in hacking into the Email account of Charlie Sheen, Rob Lowe, Sean Penn or Carson Daly? You’ll want to know they attended Santa Monica High School. Want access to the CEO of a large retail corporation? Keep reading.
Simple question used by Yahoo to verify your identity.
Truth is we’re all screwed but having good password habits will keep out the amateurs. It may save you from emailing people on your contact list to say, “I’ve been hacked, if you received email from me don’t click on the link.”
My security expert friends will advise you to use…
1) Strong Passwords
2) Unique passwords for each of your password protected websites
3) Two-step verification
My most important tip to family and friends is “Use fake information when asked for answers to security questions.”
I had plenty of time this summer to research malware and identify the first step in the infection process. The most common way to get hacked is someone using the small amount of public information needed too reset your email password. Once they have one of your email addresses it’s not hard to receive a new password on other services.
Target’s Easy Target
His first job was at Steinhafel's Furniture and he attends Wayzata Community Church. Born in Milwaukee, Steinhafel graduated from Carroll University in 1977 and earned an MBA from Northwestern University two years later. I could say more but for the safety of his wife and three children I’ll stop here.
I’ve also noticed a set of quizzes common on Facebook specifically designed to collect personal data used in security questions. I am currently investigating the background of the companies who spread these quizzes. Most created their domain within the last 30 days. I will share any information in the future.
Some Security Advice May Be Outdated
Some may recommend a complicated password like “hfY4df$dhEW_!cvrh3H7D&d.” It’s safer than 123456 but isn’t very easy to remember. A complicated password may be useful to beat programs which try every possible combination but most systems will lock you out after a handful of incorrect attempts.
Using different passwords on different services is good advice but unless you’re using a program that remembers your passwords it’s too easy to forget unique passwords. If you’re like me you’ll just end up resetting your password using security questions.