They are in your computer!
Imagine that! 100+ Billion pieces of SPAM email A DAY! The deck is so stacked against us, how do we know what is a good email and what is one that is SPAM, or a Virus, or Malware? The problem is YOU DON'T! Whether you are a home computer user that uses their computer for email and surfing the internet, or a business that uses your computers to perform tasks that support the business, you NEED to wary of every single click of your mouse! Whether you are clicking on an email or on a link to a website, you are treading in dangerous waters. And for the most part, you might never know that your computer has been infected. It took YAHOO 3 years to find out that they had been hacked and that over 1 BILLION user accounts had been compromised.
What did those hackers do with your info in that 3 year period that you don't know about? Well if you had a YAHOO email account and used it and your password to identify yourself to login to any of the numerous websites out there that require you to do so, then they have access to those websites and the personal information that they contain on you. Did you use it for work? Did you use it to login to a forum? Did you use it to open a social media account such as FaceBook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, LinkedIn, or online gaming portals like River City Media who had 1.37 Billion accounts compromised. If you did, they were able to access it. And if they did access it, they built a digital file on you. Eventually they could open other accounts in your name. Bank accounts, mortgages, file taxes before you did, apply for a social security card and the list goes on. Maybe they just sold your identity along with the other 1 Billion accounts on the #darkweb.
And that is just one of the major hacks that have been reported. Check out this website for additional ones. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/
This website, a year ago, only showed 20-30 hacks. Now, there are so many that you cannot even see the screen. You can use the filter by selector buttons on the right side to filter by category. I am sure that you will see at least 2 or 3 companies that you do business with. And there are still hundreds more that either didn't meet the threshold of at least 30,000 records, or did not report it, or still are unaware that their security has been compromised.
So as a consumer or business owner, what can you do? You are probably thinking that if these giant companies are being hacked with their $100,000 plus IT departments, what chance do you have? My friend, it is all in being educated about using your computer. Things that you were never taught. You just sat down in front of your computer and started clicking away! No one educated you on what emails you should not open, nor that you shouldn't go to sports or social media websites and just click away on advertisements and accept every pop-up that came your way. How could they harm you?
So, now that you have been made aware of these things, what can you do about them? Again, #EDUCATION. Ask your boss or supervisor at work for additional training and if none is available, go to Google and type in search terms such as 'how to protect my computer'. Go to the library and check out one of the hundreds of computer intro books available.
Ask questions of co-workers and friends.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please send them on in. And if you liked it, please share it with other friends and co-workers!
Until the next installment.