Earlier this week you undoubtedly heard of the iCloud security breach that happened to some well know celebrities. While Twitter and other places lit up with nudie pics of the like of Jennifer Lawerence, there were a lot of people at Apple frantically trying to find the source of the problem. Was it a real breach? Was there an inherent flaw in iCloud where anyone and everyone could be compromised?
The short answer is no. This came down to, at the most basic level, a brute force attack against usernames and passwords. It was the latest in what seems to be a weekly announcement of someone having data security compromised by hackers. The problem of course is that we all have digital data – digital footprints and fingerprints – all over the Internet. From our Facebook account(s) to Twitter to our Banks. Even our identification to remotely access our corporate networks. Nobody is immune but you can protect yourself as best as possible.
Identification security is something we should all be vigilant about whether it is on our smartphones, our PCs or Macs. Security breaches happen at the weakest point so the goal is to make it difficult to discourage but also no so difficult that you yourself are unable to access your data. Here then are a few tips that you should consider when it comes to your personal data security.
Use Complex Passwords
The most basic thing you can do in personal data security is use complex passwords. That is, use passwords with a mixture of:
- Upper-Case Letters
- Lower-Case Letters
- Special Character such as @£$%!
- At least 8 characters long
Passwords should also not be associate with any personally identifying information such as:
- Birthdays (yours, your spouses, your children, etc)
- Your address
- Your National Identification/Social Security Number
Complex passwords serve as a strong deterrent for those who would potentially try to gain access to your data. While any password can be compromised with enough time, complex ones point hackers to easier targets.