Protect your online security22nd June 2012
Last week saw a barrage of hack attacks taking place across the net. Most prominent in the media was 6.5 million passwords stolen from LinkedIn. No doubt, many travel professionals will be in the four per cent of site users that were targeted. Leaving so many open to identity theft and fraud is a major calamity for such a large scale network – especially one used primarily for business networking.
This incident again throws light on the hugely important issue of online security. In the travel industry, which works with large amounts of customer information and sometimes hefty sums of money, there can’t be too many precautions taken to keep data safe.
The easiest way to do so is to tighten passwords. New research from Cambridge University has shown that nearly 10% of UK internet users still use common dictionary terms for passwords. This leaves many open to automated programmes that run through such terms until the right one is found.
When selecting a password it’s important to choose one that’s more than six characters, mixes letters, cases and numbers. A different password for each network helps ensure hackers can’t access other accounts if they do crack one. Google suggests choosing a phrase – such as to be or not to be that is the questions – and using numbers and letters to recreate it – 2Bon2BtiTQ.
It is reported that LinkedIn has disabled all the hacked passwords and will contact those users over email providing next steps for how to re-setup their security. This will limit the damage done, but online security remains vitally important to everyone using digital networks or cloud services and agents need to remember to make it as hard as possible for those hacking scoundrels to access their data.
Originally published in TTG on 21 June 2012