First post… Internet Account Security

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Captain’s log…. Stardate…

 um.. well. Ok, so maybe that’s not the way to start the first ‘real blog post’.  So we’ll do something a little more meaty, something you might not see on a Personal Finance blog, although it does tie in.

Internet Account Security.

There has recently been a huge hole found in the security mechanisms at both Apple and Amazon.  Documented here, Mat Honan had his digital life destroyed when someone was able to get his Apple ID password reset using a very simple mechanism. The hacker called up Apple support saying he had forgotten his password and they reset it.  This article goes on to describe how Honan was able to get his data back, but the combination raises the security issue and really brought it home for us.

We use a combination of cloud storage and on-site backups.  Kinda the ‘Belt and Suspenders’ approach.  ( you young folks may need to Google ‘Suspenders’).  And still this story made me a little queasy;  how could  we prevent something like this from happening?

Some ‘simple’ measures are always touted.

  1. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts
  2. Change your password frequently
  3. Don’t use some ‘easy to guess’ passwords.  (We’ve all seen the TV show’s where the lead looks around at pictures and guesses the password is the Dog’s name, or some other obvious clue)

The real challenge is to follow these rules.  So yes, change your password from ‘password’ or ‘password123’.  Use something like a  password recipe for your accounts. This is a bit challenging at first, but once you get used to it, it’s very effective.

Do you have too many accounts to keep remember them all? If you can’t consolidate, use some really nice tools like KeePass to keep all your passwords safe and available. It has a ‘Master’ password that unlocks access to the list.  It’s free and widely used.

This only begins to touch the surface of the risks inherent in the internet age. Future posts I’ll talk more about  Identity Theft.  Safeguards, protection, backups etc.

Thanks for stopping by…

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2 Responses to First post… Internet Account Security

  1. It’s so hard to come up with that first post. Interesting topic. I need to be better. Sometimes I just am not creative enough with passwords and just assume no one wants to steal what I have. We should all be more vigilant.

    • outtadebt says:

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, it’s tough to be diligent, but coming up with a recipe really helps out. I had the same ‘Who’d want to steal from me’ thinking until I realized that if someone managed to get away with a few hundred dollars, the impact would be a giant pain in the neck. As far as time/hassle for dealing with bounced check fees, overdraft fees, etc..
      I’ve got an upcoming post on how this can affect Seniors as well…

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