Yikes! We’ve got another security breach on a major player on the internet.
Yep, there’s been another security breach. A big one.
Yahoo tells us that our personal data has once again
been stolen by cyber scum, who were apparently
raised by wolves and never learned right from wrong.
Though we are hearing about it today, it apparently happened
a couple of years ago, which means much of the damage has
probably been done.
You should still change your passwords.
Here is some simple advice to limit your risk in a breach, sort of like using an umbrella
during a rain shower to limit your probability of getting wet.
The rain is still gonna happen, and you are most likely going to get a little wet,
but if you have done a little prep in advance, you should not get soaked.
First things First.
Create a couple of email accounts ( I recommend at least 3) at a free email
service like yahoo (I know!), outlook live, or gmail. Make them ONLY for the
purpose of being used on the internet, and PLEASE don’t make them your
name-initial-and year born. Make them something less…personal.
Create one for social media sites and one for online newsletters or other
offers you sign up for or opt in to, and one for important banking stuff.
And only use them for what they were created for.
Make sure it is NOT the same one you use for your personal email and
certainly do NOT add any of your friends and family to your contact list
in these emails, that way IF (when) you get hacked or breached, you
do not cause problems for them by getting them onto spam lists,
or worse yet…hacked.
Make your passwords tough ones. SERIOUSLY tough-especially
the one for banking stuff. Have it generated for you by a password
generator- you can find one online by googling password generator.
Write your emails and their passwords down OFFLINE somewhere.
I keep all my stuff in two separate address books (one for ready use
and one for backup), stored in two separate places, AND be sure to
update them every time you make any changes to those emails
I hear you griping.
NO IT IS NOT TOO HARD OR TOO MUCH WORK. There are only three,
for pete’s sake.There are certain things in life that must be done in order
to do certain other things, and you suck it up, put on your grown up panties,
and JUST DO THEM.
We go through pregnancy and labor to have our babies, we go through
HUGE hassles to get a mortgage to buy our home, we clean our houses
(eventually), we brush our teeth everyday, so as not to gross others out
when we talk to them and don’t end up with gum disease, and we go to
work everyday, and that really can be way too much work
(see what I did there?), because we want the money.
In other words, IF you want to play in the big world, you have to do a
few things to make it work correctly.
When were you born, and where do you live again?
The other thing I might mention, though it is against the TOS
(terms of service) of most platforms, is that many people have
a fake bio of personal data that does not have accurate birthdays,
mother’s maiden names, addresses (both current or past), and
“favorite” answers to security questions… since all of those can
and ARE used to steal identities and cause other serious problems.
If you do this, you must also accurately write all this information
into those address books and keep it current, especially as to where
each bio is used, otherwise you may not be able to prove you
are YOU and regain access to your email/social accounts in the
event of a breach. (I do not recommend using false names)
You can also get a google voice or other online phone number
to use on those email/social platforms. Those numbers can usually
be set up with voice mail that is sent to text to your cell phone.
And last but not least, a bit of scam defense.
I am hoping everyone already knows to Never EVER EVER EVER,
give your social security number to anyone on the phone, in an email
or on an online site, regardless of who SEEMS to be asking.
NO legitimate source, not a bank, not the IRS, not even God will
ever email you or call you to get this info. Promise.
(and if they do, SHAME ON THEM, and still do not give them the info)
Never click on any link inside of any email that is sent to you
from any where (including paypal or other banking or credit card sites),
that is asking you to update your information, email address etc.
Signing in from that link gives cyber pukes your login information
and now they can steal your identity.
If you want to update those things, YOU type the url address into
the url address bar in a separate browser window and go to the site
from there, NOT from inside of the email that you received.
(a url address for those who do not know – is the internet address
where a site is located on the [world wide web] internet -usually
ending in dot com/biz/net/org/name/ or other dot something’s)
Whose calling, Please? It’s most likely not who you think it is.
And while I am at it, PLEASE do not give anyone who calls
you any information about you or your family, or believe for
one nano second that your favorite grandson or daughter is
stranded while backpacking in some exotic local, or that they
are unlawfully being held in a foreign jail and need bail money
or money for an attorney. It is 99.999% not true, (I hope).
Not even if little “Tubby Cubby” calls you himself to ask for
the money. The reason you can’t hear him that well is NOT
due to a bad connection or bad phone lines in a 3rd world country,
it is solely so you can not tell that it is not really his voice,
because HE is not calling you.
Hang up, take a deep breath, call family members to find out
– call police and ask them, as these are all scams that have been
successfully used to steal identities and the life savings of many people,
especially older people who have no idea about cyber crimes
or how phone scams work-both based on how easy it is to get
personal information about us and then make us believe they
Just do not believe any call that comes in about anything.
Hang up, and VERIFY yourself and NOT by calling the phone
number they gave you.
While I am not a lawyer, a member of law enforcement, a
security authority in anyway, I am concerned with the ease
that these criminals can get useful information from decent people.
These are not all the things that can be done, nor are any
of them a guarantee that you will not be hacked. You most likely will.
But these do help in stopping the scum slobs from getting too much
useful information from us, and right now that seems the best we can hope for.
Now go get those emails.
To Your Online Success & Safety,