security: breaches remind us to take security seriously

Recently two major corporations have released information about security failures. Retailer Target released information that it’s point of purchase system had be hacked with estimates of up to 70 million customers’ personal data stolen by hackers.  Starbucks was discovered to have been storing users passwords and information unencrypted in plain text in their iPhone app.  The takeaway from both of these instances is your personal data is never secure and you must share it with caution.

Security breaches seem like every day events in out modern times.  Rather than tune them out let them serve as reminders to take security seriously.

To be more secure online:

  • never click on links in email unless you are confident they are safe, do not trust an email came from the address given
  • wireless or public network allow for communications to be listened in on – check you have a secure SSL connection to the website you are visiting before sending any information (for instance logging in)
  • assume poor security, always

One point I cannot stress enough: if you are using your email to log into a service with a password you commonly use you are at extreme risk.