Ok, so most of us might not keep our nude pictures in the Cloud, but what the recent celebrity photo hack has taught us is that a username and password alone won’t necessarily keep your data safe.
Around 100 celebrity accounts in Apple’s iCloud had their information stolen. Their username and passwords were used to access the accounts, indicating most of these individuals had weak login credentials that the hacker’s computers could easily guess. So, as we increasingly add private data to our Cloud services, how do we protect ourselves?
Choose a Password That’s Hard for Computers to Guess
Replace an ‘o’ with a zero or an ‘a’ with an ‘@’ symbol and you’re good right? Not exactly. This little cartoon gives a good depiction of the typical dilemma; we tend to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember but easy for computers to guess.
Rather than focus on shorter cryptic passwords use a longer combination of random words that are easy to remember.
Use Two Stage Authentication with Your Cloud Services
Two stage authentication (or two factor in the IT industry) means that when you log into a website with your username and password you will also be forced to enter another code, typically one sent to your cellphone via text message or with an app. This will prevent people from logging into a website with your account even if they have your username and password. Google, Apple and Microsoft Live / Microsoft Office 365 support the process.
Extra security means a little more process and irritation when using Cloud services, but in the end it will save you from airing your dirty laundry all over the web.
Post by Mathew Lafrance, President, Grade A