I recently posted about Brain Games, the new National Geographic TV show with mind-bending interactivity, and shared an infographic about intelligence. I follow that with an infographic my friend just made for Veracode on hacking the mind–perhaps a dark side of brain science.
Earlier today I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Drill Down, and Dwayne D. mentioned how frustrating it is for many people to juggle multiple passwords, especially those that need to change frequently.
One of the other co-hosts suggested using a two-pronged security system, which requires a code to be sent to a device for access. Another suggested using a virtual vault to store passwords behind encryption. Dwayne was skeptical, arguing that access needs to be as simple as possible for users, while still being secure.
There’s a lot to lose. A family friend of mine lost his life’s savings, including his kids’ college fund, to an organized group of criminals. He spent months working with the FBI and lawyers, but was never able to recover the money. He spent so much time on his case that he neglected his duties at work, and was eventually fired. Friends murmured that he had become “obsessed” with tracking the perps. The family eventually uprooted and moved out of state to try to get a fresh start.
The hackers who emptied my friend’s accounts had used a sophisticated social engineering approach, over several periods of contact. They first called my friend’s wife and told her he had left his bank card at the local branch. So could she please verify some personal details? She provided a physical description of her husband and other tidbits, and they started building a virtual profile that they would eventually use against them.
There are lots of ways hackers can try to get at our data, from cheesy phishing emails to shoulder skimmers at the ATM. That’s not to say there is a boogeyman behind every byte, but it’s a good idea to follow security best practices online.
How do you keep your data safe?