For the last few days I’ve been in NYC as a guest of Cybher sponsors, AVG to be introduced to their new product AVG 2013.
Being a Mac user I haven’t used internet security softwear for the last five years and things are certainly way more advanced now than they were back in the day. I’ve been happy to drift along in a self constructed virus free bubble of ignorance but after being directed to read the story of how tech journalist @Mat recently had his whole digital life hacked I suddenly feel totally vulnerable and that scares the hell out of me.
I wrongly presumed myself to be digitally aware. It turns out I was very wrong.
The hackers managed to destroy @Mat’s digital life simply by getting access to his Amazon and Mac accounts. It turns out that for identification purposes Apple use the last four digits of your credit card number, the very ones that Amazon blank out. Get access to both these accounts and you have full credit card and address details and with that you really can be erased.
The hackers simply wanted to gain control of @Mat’s cool three character Twitter name to out how easy it was for someone to take his life. In the process they remotely wiped his iPhone and his Mac and with them all the photographs he had taken of his daughter’s first year.
It’s horrifying but lets hope not totally in vain. I felt sick when I read his story and immediately set about changing my log ins and ensuring that one account wasn’t piggybacking on another.
Its heavy stuff and its hassle wading through all of your accounts to put your digital security in order but @Mat’s story has taught me that you absolutely have to do this now – before its too late.
If you answer YES to any of the following questions you are at risk too.
Do you use the same username, email and password for multiple accounts and profiles?
Do you share your passwords with anyone?
Do you use the same prefix for multiple email accounts; ie email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org?
If you're a PC, you can download AVG Internet Security 2013 free or if you’d like access to additional features opt for the paid for AVG Premium Security 2013.
If you use an android phone and you aren’t using security, download AVG Antivirus for Mobile now. Your phone and all of the information contained on it are at risk too.
If you are a Mac, unfortunately Apple make it very difficult for third parties such as AVG to gain access to the iOS operating system that runs all of it’s products but they do have an iOS compatible product that can be used if you run Chrome rather than Safari on your device. Download AVG Family Safety for iOS.
A very big thank you to Jas, Jill, Tony and the whole AVG team for their hospitality in NYC and for opening my eyes.
AVG were an official sponsor of Cybher 2012. Their products are used by around 125 million people worldwide.