Hacking Is More Of A Threat Than You Think
Our trust in technology can sometimes be a very scary thing. We buy a wide array of products and services online. We sign up (and forget about) websites like the world is about to end. Heck, we even put robots all around our homes and hook them up to a wireless network that might not even have a password. We trust technology like our own family
, and when a cyber-attack ensues, we treat the companies compromising our personal information like a child: we become slightly irate, clean up the mess, give them a light slap on the wrist, and get on with our lives.
But with so much synchronization happening between the internet and ourselves, ignoring the safety risks associated with having our lives completely wired is a very ill-informed decision
. The internet is creeping on almost all aspects of our lives, making us extremely vulnerable to hacking. Dont believe youre at risk? Here are 3 reasons that might make you rethink your mindset on hacking and the internet.
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1. Sensitive Information Is Hacked Daily
Last year, Target made headlines when it compromised 40 million credit and debit cards and the personal information of 70 million people. What many dont know, though, is that incidents like this are anything but isolated. In the past few years alone, millions of accounts, credit cards, and other sensitive information have been compromised
. This includes:
- 24 million Zappos accounts (2012)
- 77 million PlayStation accounts (2011)
- 1 million credit and debit cards used in Nieman Marcus
- Potentially, 60 million credit and debit cards used at Home Depot
But thats certainly not all. In 2011, The Escapist
found that over 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked daily
. This information ciphering will not stop as time goes on because companies are not taking the necessary precautions to protect their customers. An article by Mashable
revels just how easily hackers can obtain information from big companies like Home Depot or Target: one employee falling for a phishing scheme can put millions of peoples financial and personal information on the line. All it takes is one click.
2. Were Aware Of The Dangers
But Do Nothing About Them
According to the Pew Research Center, 18 percent of adults online have important information, like their social security number, stolen
. Another 21 percent have had an email or social networking site compromised or taken over without their permission. The Heartbleed security flaw affected about 66 percent of internet users, but most assumed that it didnt affect them. We are aware of these hacks, but much of the time, we do very little to increase our level of security after the attack.
Though many people affected by security compromises like the Target hack got new cards at the advice of their banks, they did nothing else to secure themselves against other attacks. In fact, people kept shopping at Target in the aftermath of the security breach
. Targets sales
only decreased .3 percent in the financial quarter after the security breach.
3. We Have Hardware Problems We Dont Fix
But accounts arent our only problem. The way we access the internet can also jeopardize our security. WiFi routers, our primary mode of surfing the web, are not as secure as we would like to think. Only a few months ago, hackers hijacked over 300,000 routers
. Additionally, a new study by Independent Security Evaluators
looked into the security of 13 WiFi routers and found that none of them were strong enough to beat a simple cyber-attack.
Not much is done to secure the devices we hook up to these routers either. This is especially true of home automation devices, which we blindly install in our homes to make our lives easier, but think nothing of how secure these systems are. Just in the past year, a hacker
began getting into baby monitors and screaming at children through them. But thats not the only electronic device in your home that can be hacked. Every home automation device in your home is vulnerable to hacking
, and while beefing up security could help, it is still not foolproof.
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Staying Safe In The Digital Age
New technology comes out daily to make our lives more convenient. However, using only the necessary pieces of technology is vital to keeping our information safe and our devices secure
. While you might seem slightly behind the times to friends and family, ultimately, you will be the one who is unaffected by massive cyber-attacks, which makes it all worthwhile.