On Saturday my personal yahoo account was hacked which resulted in my entire address book receiving spam emails about some ‘really cool meds for only $50’. Sadly with the growth of online usage, it comes with an increase in hackers and malicious programs trawling the internet for applications to abuse.
Amazon’s website was hacked into last month, resulting in the site going down for a few hours. With over 76,000 unique visitors a month (just in the US), the number of transactions lost within those hours would have been rather costly. As with the majority of sites this scale, they have copies of the site on separate servers, meaning they were up and running pretty quickly. Being within the top ten of most visited websites, we would expect this level of security.
Earlier this week Twitter sent out a best practice advice email to some high profile news organisations such as The Guardian and the BBC who had experienced their own Twitter accounts being the target of hackers. Unfortunately these attacks will continue, so it is paramount to adhere to some stringent guidelines when using the internet.
Here are a few pieces of advice
– Use passwords of at least 20 characters comprising random strings of letters and numbers
– Change passwords regularly
– Don’t use the same password for multiple applications
– Always log out if you are using a shared computer or device
– Ensure your website is backed up regularly