8/30/11

Thought You'd Want to Know




Mike recently forwarded this article to me, and I'm posting it to spread the word.  It is especially relevant to me because my Gmail account was hacked recently.  After that, my credit card was compromised, and then my PayPal account experienced unauthorized use.  Everything has been set to rights and no damage was done, unless you count the angst and worry while I fixed everything and changed all my passwords.

The crux of the matter is that companies pay other companies to certify them as legitimate.  It seems that a hacker group has gained access to one of these certificates that will certify them as Google legitimate even though their purposes are nefarious.  This is especially relevant to those of us who use Blogger, as I do.   

Now there's no need to get worked up about this.  Just be very careful when giving out any personal information.  Make sure your passwords are unusual enough that no one will be able to guess them.  Also (and this is the lesson I learned the hard way), make sure the answers to your security questions cannot be easily guessed by a hacker  When my Gmail account was hacked, I discovered that my security question asked for the name of my pet.  I set that question years ago.  Of course, when I started blogging, the name of my pet was published all over my blog.  I'm just sayin' . . . be careful.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sarah said...

My fav password is the first letter of each word in a very specific sentence. I then customize it with capitals in strange places and some numbers. I certainly hope no machine can hack that...I just need to remember it!

Glad to hear no damage was done to your accounts...

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks so much for the heads-up. We sometimes forget all of the personal information we innocently share on our blogs can be used by a thief. One reason I never, ever announce when we are going out of town. Because of your excellent suggestion, I will no longer use one of my pets as a password.

Irina said...

thanks for that, I think my passwords are safe enough, but I'll have a look at the security question, as I can't remember which one it is!

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for the heads-up Barbara. We all can use a reminder about our password security from time to time.

Snoodles said...

My geeky daughter keeps telling me to change my passwords....guess I had better do that! Glad you are OK now.

brandi said...

I came here from Jan's FunnyFarm. I have been hacked and I am really upset by it. I put a link to a website that blogger said was malware. There goes five years of my blog list I have to delete. I also emptied my cache that saved sign ins on line. A pain, but worth it. As for pets in my password? Yes, I still do. But it includes numbers special only to me. I forgot my password with my cable account, and they gave me one. It is two short words which have Nothing to do with eachother and are so odd I remember it easily. The same can be done with any signin. It was a very good idea and I have to say, remembering odd word combinations works. There is also a cheat sheet hidden at my house which has all these silly passwords written down just in case. Hope this helps people! And please wait a week before checking my blog:)