Security & Hacking

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You would think a magazine named Vanity Fair might be all about fashion and culture  and rich people – which it is, but it’s also one of the best resources I have for in-depth articles about Internet Security, or the lack thereof.

A few months ago, they had an article on Stuxnet, a hacking type program (trojan horse) that some government allegedly created to interfere with another country’s nuclear weapons program.  Fascinating.  And terrifying.

The most recent issue had another article about hacking and how all the major companies and government agencies and Google, etc. have all been hacked, with the implication that the culprit is the Chinese government and that cyber warfare has been with us for some time, but no one wants to admit it because shareholders might get upset.   Please – let us get upset.  We couldn’t get much more upset than we already are. 

Even scarier!

What I’ve taken away from all my reading is that:

  1. If someone wants to hack your website, they will
  2. The fact that they can is not a reason to make it easy for them.

I seriously doubt I or my clients need to worry about a government hacking our websites, but there is more than adequate evidence to support our worrying about everyday crooks hacking our website, bank/credit card accounts or home computers.  

So, make sure your passwords are difficult.  “Difficult” means that until you have typed a password 30 or 40 times, there’s no way in the world you could ever memorize it.  

Your name with the last character capitalized and then 3 digits from your zip code is not “difficult”.   

jdfFf21$1dj!!VCV    —Now that’s difficult.  (It’s also not my password for anything)

It’s your life.  And it’s your bank account.  And it’s your website.   You might not be able to make it hack-proof, but you can darn well make it really difficult for a hacker to get in. 

It’s just like protecting your home.  You can leave the front door open.  You can leave the front door closed but unlocked.  You can leave the front door closed and locked.  Or, you can lock the front door and have a deadbolt and a yappy dog and a motion detector security light and an alarm system.   Which one do you think the burglar is going to like?

Be safe.

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