security: breaches remind us to take security seriously

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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.