Peter Zilahy Ingerman, PhD, FBCS - Consultants

We specialize in Computer, Human, and Systems Symbiosis... making all of the parts work together simply and smoothly for the benefit of all the parts!

YOU ARE AT RISK!

A Large Number of very organized, very successful hacks have occurred in recent weeks. At this point it is safe to say at some point your information stored by someplace online you frequent has been accessed and YOU ARE AT RISK!

*How often do you change your passwords?

*Do you use a unique password everywhere?

*How well do you read the EULA before you check the agree box?

*Do you really know how much about you is being stored by whom and where?

*When were your security software definitions last updated?

*When did you last do a comprehensive security scan of your system?

^When was the last full backup you did?

*Do you have real time malware protection and active firewall?

*If you use Internet Explorer have you considered also using their Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit?

It seems very little is safe online anymore.... but vigilance when you get your bank statements and credit card bills might help reduce the damage. Watch for tiny insignificant charges made to test the account before selling the information!!!

And really! CHANGE your passwords OFTEN!

"...To be on the safe side, anyone who uses financial and shopping websites should change their passwords forthwith—preferably to something longer, more jumbled, and including no word found in any dictionary. The more nonsensical the better.

Heads may nod in agreement, but the advice is then promptly ignored. Human nature, being what it is, has a habit of making people the weakest link in any security chain. For instance, passwords that are easy to remember—the ones most people choose—tend to be the easiest for cybercrooks to guess. By contrast, passwords comprising long, random strings of uppercase and lowercase letters plus numbers and other keyboard characters are far more difficult to fathom. Unfortunately, they are also difficult to remember. As a result, users write them down on scraps of paper that get left lying around for prying eyes to see..."

To read the rest of an excellent article with guidelines for truly strong passwords and what is involved in cracking them see:

http://www.economist.com/node/21612433