On Tuesday August 14th 2013 the Syrian Electric Army, (pro-government hackers) shut down The New York Times and compromised Twitter. By deceptive means they managed to gain access via a stolen ID and password from a “reseller” account. I won’t give the SEA credit by allowing them the word “hack” as this is a term I give to peeps who employ movie-like techniques by use of code and lasers to break in. This was our classic case of old school deception and could have been prevented if the weak link was smart enough to notice the scam. This wasn’t some high tech offense, this was a schoolyard technique to steal another kids Fruit Roll-Up. In fact, a large percent of today’s digital break and entries are done in this same practice. Our vulnerability is based on how educated we are on deceptive motives.
The most important tip to prevent vulnerability is to play smart. Never lead with your innocence on your sleeve and get into the habit of second guessing information. It’s the internet, a worldwide connection at the touch of the keyboard. If you search a cure for a cold and it says jump off a cliff; I’m sure you would second guess that direction. For example when you receive an e-mail from Grandpa Joe with a subject that says Hi and leaves a simple link; this is more likely going to be a malicious gift waiting to get its hands onto your information. Second guess it, contact Grandpa then find out if he actually sent it. I know it’s a simple example, but just enough reality could save you from trouble. Take the time to educate yourself and become aware of these simple deceptive tactics as they will prevent future loss.
There are obviously many techniques to comprise your digital security. Far more advanced and complex then what I’ve simply expressed, but at the end of the day we have to keep vigilant of protecting our information. We have to take measures into our own hands and think twice of how we approach the internet as well as how we get approached.