As we continue to perform more day-to-day activities and tasks online and on devices, hackers are becoming more prevalent. People are putting personal and valuable information online and through different services, making these outlets very attractive to cybercriminals.
In the past month, Skype, NBC, Twitter, Facebook and Apple have been hit with hacking attacks. Not only did hackers gain access to 250,000 Twitter accounts and user information, but they gained control of major accounts such as Jeep, Burger King and Donald Trump. Only one week after hackers targeted Facebook, Apple employees’ computers were infected with malicious software. NBC.com was also a victim to online hackers as visitors to the site may have been hit by what is called a “drive-by-download attack,” in which malicious software is downloaded onto their computers simply by visiting the website.
The number of these attacks is increasing, grabbing the attention of President Obama. In his State of the Union address, the President said he planned to issue an executive order seeking better protection of the country's critical infrastructure from future cyber attacks.
Evernote, a provider of a collection of apps that make it easy to stay organized and productive, is the latest victim to cyber hacking attacks. The security breach resulted in resetting more than 50 million user passwords. The company sent an e-mail to users Saturday, March 2 to alert them of the hack and to update their passwords.
Although the company doesn’t believe content or user information was accessed, it is taking precautions by having users reset their passwords. In addition to this, the company is also releasing updates to several of its apps to make the password change process easier.
“As recent events with other large services have demonstrated, this type of activity is becoming more common. We take our responsibility to keep your data safe very seriously, and we’re constantly enhancing the security of our service infrastructure to protect Evernote and your content,” the message continued.The company offered some tips to ensure data security on any site.
- Avoid using simple passwords based on dictionary words
- Never use the same password on multiple sites or services
- Never click on “reset password” requests in emails; instead go directly to the service
Services like Evernote allow users to easily create, store, organize and access data in one place. As we become more dependent on these kind of programs to handle our information, it’s even more important that precautions are taken when selecting and updating passwords. Malware on mobile devices is predicted to increase in 2013, so make sure you are doing everything you can to protect what you are entrusting to the Internet and apps.
Edited by Rich Steeves