Massive data breach directly affects at least 4 million people.
Unless you were living under a rock this week (and maybe even then), you’ve heard about the recent data breach affecting the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
The hack involved personnel files relating to 4 million current and former members of the federal government. In other words, about one percent of the entire US population. It affected nearly every single federal agency, exposing people’s names, addresses, social security numbers, job details, training information, and more.
This was one very big hack indeed. It shows that the threat posed by hackers is increasing every day. It shows that everyone needs to take online security seriously. It also shows that all of us could be victims, and this means all of us must be proactive in protecting ourselves.
Most people choose their pizza toppings according to taste…and rightly so!
If you’re like most people who order pizza, how you choose toppings is pretty intuitive. If you like salty flavors, you opt for olives and anchovies; if you prefer sweet flavors, you choose pineapples and corn. If you’ve got a sense of culinary adventure, a combination of hot peppers, spiced pepperoni and buffalo mozzarella may tickle your fancy. In all cases, choosing pizza toppings is a matter of taste, and there’s no need to take it too seriously, really, since it’s just pizza after all.
Selecting the right antivirus is considerably more important, and should be approached in a more informed manner. After all, this isn’t dinner we’re talking about. It’s your personal computer. It’s your private information, your banking details, your personal email, your family photos, and your confidential files. The decision you make regarding how you protect it should be a sensible one based on facts and research, not your sense of taste.
Your online privacy depends on the strength of your passwords.
Your privacy is only as safe as your weakest password.
Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but let’s face it. The strength of your passwords is important. If it wasn’t, why would so many people be interested in hacking them!
Passwords keep your private stuff private. They make sure that the emails sent from your account are actually written by you. They make sure that the Posts, Likes and Comments that appear on your Facebook page are authentic. They keep your Dropbox photos private. They make sure your coffee card is used exclusively to buy frothy sweet drinks for the people you want to treat.
Of course, passwords also prevent criminals from draining your bank account, running up charges on your credit cards, and causing all sorts of other mischief.
Clearly, having a strong password and keeping it secure is important. Which leads to the question – how can you create rock-solid passwords and keep them protected? Here are 14 simple steps to help you out.
Hackers look for vulnerabilities that they can exploit.
If you look for the term zero-day attack in your home dictionary, you probably won’t find it.
Go ahead and check…I’ll wait.
You might not even find the term in some online dictionaries (though to be fair, it does appear in others.).
Nevertheless, if you google the term, you’ll find thousands of references to it, many of them from mainstream sources including Forbes, Time, and USA Today. So what’s the deal? If the term is so important, why isn’t in the dictionary yet?
As with so many computer-related terms, the phrase zero-day attack has recently crept into the lexicon of the common person, after being used by technical types for more than a decade. Also known as 0day attacks, zero-hour attacks and 0hour attacks, these are attacks that exploit a vulnerability in a computer application or program.
A vulnerability, by the way, is simply an error in a software that could be exploited. It isn’t a problem in itself, and it isn’t something that stops an application or program from working properly. However, if a vulnerability is discovered by a hacker, and if the hacker uses the vulnerability to conduct nefarious activities, then the moment these nefarious activities are discovered, it is known as a zero-day attack.