What We Can Learn From Major Hacking Scandals Of The Past Decade

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What We Can Learn From Major Hacking Scandals Of The Past Decade

What We Can Learn From Major Hacking Scandals Of The Past Decade

If you feel like you take privacy a lot less seriously than you once did, you’re not alone. While no one willingly gives up their privacy, we have become used to the fact that our lives are online now. Data that would once have only been accessible if someone broke into your house can now be accessed from across the world.

There have been a number of big scandals. These include leaks from massive companies like Facebook, Yahoo!, and Equifax. The Equifax breach was particularly disturbing, considering that the company holds the confidential financial data of millions of Americans.

Keeping yourself safe is not such a simple matter. You should have a strong PIN on your phone, as well as insurance coverage. Phone insurance covers damaged, stolen, or lost phones. You can simply get a new device, erasing your old device so that the thief cannot get your data.

However, the risk is ubiquitous even when your devices are in your possession. Even if you scrubbed all of your data from all your devices, companies like Google will still have a lot of data that can be used against you.

So, what have we learnt from these scandals? Will these lessons be pertinent in 2023?

No one is safe

Unfortunately, the biggest lesson we have learnt is that no one is totally safe from cyber crime. No matter how many VPNs and private browsers you use, you’re no longer in control of your data. There are times when it is necessary to share your data, especially with companies like Equifax, and they are always going to have some vulnerability to hacking.

This doesn’t mean you should give up. On the contrary, it is a reason for you to take your privacy as seriously as possible. The less data you put at risk, the less a potential leak from a big company is likely to harm you.

Privacy software is only so effective

Another lesson is that the privacy software many of us use to try and avoid prying eyes will only get us so far. It is a very good idea to use a VPN, but it is not a surefire way of keeping hackers out. If even the biggest tech companies are at risk, your own personal security is not foolproof.

The silver lining, however, is that hackers are unlikely to put as much effort into hacking you as they put into hacking Facebook. Unless you have access to data that has an impact on a major scale, you’re unlikely to fall victim to such a sophisticated attack.

How To Save Ourselves From Major Hacking

Preventing major hacking incidents requires a combination of technical security measures and good security practices.

First, ensure that all software and systems are up to date and patched against known vulnerabilities. This includes not only your operating system and applications, but also any connected devices or Internet of Things (IoT) devices on your network.

Next, use strong, unique passwords for all accounts, and consider using a password manager to generate and store them securely. Avoid reusing passwords across different accounts, as a single compromised password can lead to multiple breaches.

Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible, as this adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.

Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. Phishing emails and other social engineering tactics are often used by attackers to trick victims into compromising their own security.

Regularly back up important data, and keep multiple copies in different locations. This will help to ensure that your data can be restored in the event of a successful attack or other data loss incident.

Another effective way to prevent major hacking incidents is by using a reputable security software, such as antivirus or anti-malware. This software can help to detect and block known threats, and can also be configured to scan for any suspicious activity on your computer.

It is also important to be aware of the signs of a potential hack, such as unexpected messages or notifications, or changes to your files or settings. If you suspect that your computer or network has been compromised, take immediate action to isolate the affected device and investigate the incident further.

For companies, it is important to have a incident response plan in place, This can help to minimize damage and ensure a swift and efficient response in the event of a security breach.

Finally, it is important to train employees on good security practices and the importance of following security policies. This can help to reduce the risk of human error and ensure that everyone in the organization is aware of the risks and how to help protect against them.

Overall, preventing major hacking incidents requires a combination of technical security measures, good security practices and employee awareness training. By staying vigilant and being proactive, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of a successful hack and protect your valuable data and information.

Passwords should be changed

One of the problems we face when certain sites get hacked is that our usernames and passwords are revealed. This can mean that all of your accounts are at risk, if you still use the same login details for them. So, it might not bother you that LinkedIn was hacked, but if you use the same password for your Gmail account, hackers will have access to it.

This is just one more reason that we all need to change our password habits. Instead of relying on your old faithful, let your browser create a strong password for you. Each account will have different login details, so even if one of them is hacked, the others are safe.

Apple has recently started rolling out its Passkey feature, which will make traditional passwords obsolete. Until that happens, however, it is crucial that you take password security seriously.

The world in 2023 is a privacy nightmare and many of us have become desensitised to that fact. Nonetheless, if we pay attention to lessons from the past, we can avoid losing our data to hackers in years to come.