In the beginning, or at least close to the beginning, there was Yahoo!. It’s still here today.
For many of us, it was how we searched. Later, it was the best place to go for news. It still is a terrific news portal and my dentist has it on the computer monitor to read while I’m waiting in the chair.
Then, along comes the offer of free email.
How could I go wrong?
Just provide a little information in case you forget your password and your email account is created. It’s just for you, and protected by your email and password combination.
What could go wrong?
Well, unless you’re hiding off the grid, we know today that many login credentials were stolen from the service.
Oddly enough, any story or even a mention of the situation was missing from the Yahoo! Portal today.
If you dig around enough, you’ll find instructions about what to do if you think you’ve been hacked.
There’s good advice there and also from this CNN report.
It’s good advice for everyone and certainly worthy of a discussion with students who are old enough to be signing up for internet services. It is something to be worried about; if you’ve ever taken a course on ethical hacking, you know how powerful the good guy tools can be. Can you imagine what the criminals have?
There’s plenty of advice about what to do when things like this happen. It is important to secure that account – it’s not just your login and password that is at risk. It’s every other system that you may have used the same information on and, if you truthfully answered things about mother’s maiden name, birthday, etc. a user profile about you can be created.
It’s also a reminder that, if you are self-hosting things yourself, you need to be constantly keeping things up to date with security patches. For many of us who prefer not to get involved with that on an ongoing basis, using a service like WordPress which has a great deal more to lose than I do, makes so much sense.
In all this, I can’t help but wonder. If someone broke into my house, I’d call the police and there would be an all out attempt to capture whoever did it. What happens in these hacking cases? Stories indicated that it might have done by a “state-sponsored actor”, whatever that is. It would certainly be comforting to read a story that police or other officials are busy tracking this actor down. After all, there are claims that this person is selling the information. As they say on television, “follow the money”.
In the meantime, it’s just a wakeup to us all to do good things to protect our own information.