Once upon a time, security breaches were things that happened due to lost or stolen keys, or the skills of safe crackers and cat burglars. More recently, lapses in security are due to hackers using speak phishing, CEO fraud and a variety of other online tactics to part people from their valuables. Securing your internet devices can become as important as locking your front door.
You may have already come across the term phishing. It was coined in 1996 by hackers who targeted AOL customers; they made the analogy between baiting a hook in fishing and creating an email that encourages users to give away their passwords.
More than 20 years later, phishing is still a huge security problem, with 85% of organisations saying they had been targeted in this way. Recently, phishing has gone beyond email. Earlier this year, PlayStation users complained of receiving spam messages from newly created PlayStation Network accounts inviting them to click a link. Once on the site, users were encouraged to give personal information, this then gives hackers what they need to log into accounts and steal credit card information and more.
If you’re concerned that you may have been phished, you can use the website haveibeenpwned.com to check whether your details may have been accessed by hackers. Here’s what to do if your PS4 account was hacked.
Of course, security breaches still exist in real life as well as virtual, it’s only that phishing and the like are relatively easy. Hack from anywhere in the world, so long as you have an internet connection, and no one will ever see your face. That doesn’t mean that real-life security should be ignored.
Only last year, a convicted murderer was sentenced to four months in prison after breaking into Buckingham Palace. Security at the palace had been tightened considerably since the infamous break-in by Michael Fagan back in 1982 but still had vulnerabilities that we able to be exploited.
While you are upgrading your firewall and inventing ever more complicated systems for password creation, you might want to take what happened at Buckingham Palace as a word of warning. Secure your home a with a strong gate from a well-known brand such as Portcullis Gates for that extra sense of security. By strengthening the external barriers around your home you stand to deter criminals at the physical point of entry.
Internet of Things
The two worlds are increasingly colliding as more and more of our gadgets and gizmos are connected to the internet. Stealing an iPhone can now give the thief access to PayPal accounts, credit card information, the physical address, and your home security system via products like Nest Cam.
Although the benefit of being able to control your home security from your phone is immense, it is also a vulnerability. If our obsession with controlling things from our smart phones continues, taking a phone could become an all-access pass to a person’s life making phishing look like amateur hour.
There’s no doubt that living in the modern world has its advantages, the constant connectivity of the smartphone has brought so many benefits. However, as with all things, we need to make sure that we don’t leave ourselves vulnerable to the less honest people in the world.