Security 2016: Expect to Be Hacked

Hacker WAVSWith hacking, phishing and scamming at all-time highs, a good defense is your best offense for the year ahead.

A Billion and More Already Compromised

According to ZDNET and others, more than one billion personal records were accessed in 2014 alone. 2015 was another banner year for hackers that included the FBI, T-Mobile (15 million customers), ScottTrade (4.6 million customers) Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (10 million), the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) (22 million government workers), and the IRS (last count 724,000 accesses to taxpayer account data) to name but a few.

In other words, you’ve probably been compromised and don’t know it yet, with the likelihood that at least some of your personal data was and is now in the wild.  While you may not be affected now, existing hacks can leave you vulnerable in the future.

What To Do?

Unfortunately, there’s little you can do when a trusted external source fails to keep your data safe, and that data then gets compromised.  Once informed, however, change your password(s) immediately using recommended protocols across all accounts that use the same password.  Online banking and financial institutions, as well as healthcare accounts should each employ unique passwords. This reduces the chance of a raid across accounts that compromises your aggregated personal history and banking information.

Business solutions abound depending on firm size, but concise precautions for business can be found here:  FTC Business Security Guide

Personal precautions can be found variously, but CNET has a good overview: