In late August, comedian and actress Leslie Jones’ personal website was hacked after a barrage of racist, hateful attacks on the actress’ Twitter throughout the summer. The hackers exposed, among other things, nude photos of Ms. Jones, as well as pictures of her driver’s license and passport. Ms. Jones, in true comedic fashion, addressed the hack by making a joke about it at the Emmys back in September.
More recently, she portrayed herself in a comedy sketch about the hack on the October 1 season premiere of Saturday Night Live. During the “Mr. Robot” sketch, Jones asks for help determining the source of the hack, which has a humorous conclusion (no spoilers!). Although it’s great that Jones is laughing about the incident, don’t forget to take your own personal security seriously. Here are a couple of suggested steps to take to ensure that your data are as secure as possible.
Protect Your Passwords
Password protection isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea, but it truly is an essential step when securing your data. Instead of using the same, or similar, passwords for everything (come on, we all know you do it), try an all-in-one password solution, like 1Password or LastPass.
1Password creates unique, secure passwords, and stores them in an encrypted, password-protected vault. If you prefer to create your own distinct passwords for every service, you can manually enter those passwords into 1Password so you never have to click “forgot password” again. The app can also store PIN codes, credit card information, documents and more.
Keep Your OS and Applications Current
Don’t forget to check for software updates on all your devices. There are constantly new vulnerabilities, both in your operating system (OS) and apps. Widely-installed software products like Java, Adobe PDF Reader, Flash and QuickTime are under near-constant attack from hackers. Companies frequently provide software updates to fix security bugs, often bolstering weaknesses and flaws to add an extra layer of protection from hacking.
Make Use of Security Features Offered
Many online services have advanced security settings, so make sure you’re taking advantage of them. If your email provider has the option for two-factor authentication, security experts recommend enabling the feature. Two-factor authentication is offered on mail providers like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo and your Apple ID, as well as on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
A Google account, for example, may have access to your email through Gmail, your credit card through shopping on Google Play and other personal information. Google implements a “2-Step Verification” process that protects your account both with your password and your phone.
Additionally, make sure to set up a recovery email for all accounts if offered, and take this a step further by protecting your recovery email with two-factor authentication. For online accounts that need extra security, like bank accounts, always set up security questions.
Taking these steps will help protect your data, but you can always use a secure cloud-based service like the Fasetto app to store sensitive information. Try storing files on an external hard drive like Link from Fasetto, which gives you the option to share files without exchanging information directly over the public cloud.