How Consumers and Brands
Can Stay Safe in a Connected World
by Dane Cobain
- Paperback: 130 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (3 Aug. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-13: 978-1533219107
Social Paranoia: How Consumers and Brands Can Stay Safe in a Connected World is the true story of how sometimes the updates that you post come back to haunt you. Filled with real case studies and practical advice, it’s a guidebook for everyone who has an online presence from consumers to massive corporations.
Sometimes, people really are out to get you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Five of the biggest leaks of all-time
Hi, folks! My name’s Dane Cobain and I’m a British author and social media marketer, and today I’m here to talk about Social Paranoia. Social Paranoia is the feeling you get when you hesitate before hitting the post button on an update, or when you wake up after a night out and remember sending instant messages to your ex.
But it’s not just our own actions that put us at risk on social networking sites. In fact, thanks to hacks and leaks, we can have our security compromised without us even knowing it. If your account has been hacked, it’s likely to have been a targeted attack which led to someone else having access to it; leaks, by contrast, are much more widespread, and they occur when hackers gain access to a website’s database and release the information to the public, typically including e-mail addresses, passwords and contact details.
And so today, I thought I’d talk about five of the biggest leaks of all-time, with a little bit of extra advice to help out if your account’s security has been compromised. Let’s do this!
Back in 2008, during the social networking site’s heydey, MySpace suffered a breach that exposed the details of around 360 million accounts. The breach was kept secret for eight years before the data was listed as for sale on the dark net in May 2016.
LinkedIn was hacked in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the breach of 164 million e-mail addresses and passwords was exposed after being offered up for sale on the dark net.
Adobe was hacked in October 2013, with hackers releasing the internal ID, username, e-mail, encrypted password and password hints for 153 million accounts. Many of the passwords were poorly encrypted, and so hackers were able to switch many of them back into plain text.
Dropbox was breached in 2012, but it wasn’t until August 2016 that they forced many of their customers to reset their passwords as a result of it. Over 68 million records were released online.
In early 2013, tumblr suffered a breach which resulted in 65 million accounts being compromised. The data, which included e-mail addresses and passwords, was offered up for sale on the dark net.
If you’re worried that your data might have been compromised, there’s a useful website called HaveIBeenPwned.com which allows you to enter your e-mail address to find out whether your information was included in any of the major leaks that they’re aware of. It’s a good idea to check this on a regular basis.
And if your account has been breached, or if you’re worried that it might have been, your best bet is to change your password as quickly as possible and, if the site in question allows you to do so, force a log out on all other devices that are signed in. It’s also a good idea to use a different password on every website that you use, although that’s not always easy to do.
Either way, maintaining a strong, secure password which uses a mixture of letters and numbers and which doesn’t include dictionary words is the best way to stay safe. Update it on a regular basis, don’t share it with anyone else, and hope that the sites you sign up to have sufficient cybersecurity in place.
Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website, http://www.danecobain.com. His debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked, was released in the summer of 2015.
Open internationally until 11/6/2016