While Web security is always a priority, the recent hacking of Wired writer Mat Honan's iCloud account has industry observers concerned about the safety of their cloud-based information and their online personas. But no one should allow their online information to become an easy target for hackers.
Here are a few tips you can use to make the digital you harder to hack:
1. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. If hackers figure out one account's password, they then might be able to gain access to other important information stored elsewhere online.
2. Seek tools to help keep your computer secure. Those concerned about computer security can follow this thought experiment to find out how well-guarded their system is, then test the strength of their password on howsecureismypassword.net, which estimates how long it would take a computer to randomly guess a password. Change the password on your Apple MacBook Air from a flimsy one that could be cracked in seconds to an ultra-secure one that couldn't be broken in a quadrillion years.
Some services also offer what is called two-factor authentication. These require users to enter a regular password, as well as a second piece of information, which is typically a code sent to their phone. This security technique can be turned on in Google apps, and the upcoming Windows 8 plans to use it as well. Dropbox recently announced that it will also adopt this security measure to prevent future hacking.
3. Backup all of your devices. That way, if a Mat Honan-style wipeout ends up happening for you, all of your data won't be lost forever.
In response to criticism about lax security protocols, Apple has put a 24-hour freeze on distributing passwords over the phone, which should put those with iCloud accounts at ease for a little while. Those who have any concerns about security in cloud computing can get advice from the knowledgeable staff at PortableOne.