Hacked Again… Someone Please Help!

Hacker

A few months ago, Kenyan media fell into a perplexed mood when this happened: Another Top Kenyan Government Website Hacked! (February 21, 2015) then this happens President of Kenya Website Hacked by Indonesian hackers  (May 13, 2015). Recently, my brother inquired if Kenyan security is serious about cyber security if the famous and praised program NyumbaKumi Security had their website hacked too.

This guys are just as we learnt in school: malicious. They break and test these websites for fun. The number stands at 103 websites in Kenya hacked in the year 2012 alone. This is just astounding if you put it together that one guy from Indonesia did this—not a team of hackers!

Cyber crime is the new coined name for such malicious acts that have made it into the digital society of today. Every thing today is in the clouds and security code or wall is a string of characters that might increase the time to bring down your whole life.

From your personal life on social websites, to financial accounts and cards in the online websites, not forgetting the cloud offices that people get employed to today (work from home). All these are scattered on several servers in the world, but a single email or reused password can bring them all down. Trust me. A single leak or breakthrough and you are annihilated.

But for Mat Honan he got hacked, with all his accounts compromised and his computers wiped with no backup. The scary part: No “real” hacking was involved—all it took was a few support calls to Apple and Amazon and nearly all his most important accounts were compromised.

Lessons learnt:

  1. Do not reuse services or cross platform services. Let each service or product have its unique username (you can reuse emails) and password. This click and link ideal will finish you in a few clicks. It is a house of cards, pick the right one and the house falls. Unless the service does not offer an account creation is when you can use a service link.
  2. Use different passwords. Unique passwords and changing them frequently or at least after 1-2 years of use reduces the level and possibility of hacks. The longer the password (recommended is at least 6 characters) and with mix of numbers, symbols and alphabets would increase the lifespan of your account security. However, some accounts and services like games or forums might not be of high importance to have a very strong password. Casual account as some would call them.
  3. Use a Password Manager. There are several Password Managers, some are actually free and packed with features that serve you perfectly. Pick one and let it do the rest. Do NOT use the browser password manager for this as the data is stored by the browser company and you do not know how they handle or do with all these information.
  4. Only visit HTTPS verified websites for important personal matters. TSL or SSL stands for Transport Layer Security or Secure Sockets Layer. It provides a secure connection between internet browsers and websites, allowing you to transmit private data (like social, banking, and work services) online. Sites secured with TSL or SSL display a padlock in the browsers URL and possibly a green address bar if secured by an EV Certificate.

The servers can be hacked, but so will your life. Better be safe, than sorry.

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