- Created: Tuesday, 02 January 2018
- Written by William Gray
With the holidays over and many people returning to work, how to recover from the excesses and over indulging might be foremost in some people’s minds.
IT recovery and continuity plans are regular features in the business world, with backups and plans checked annually, with restore points being set before installs and updates. These are all procedures ensuring that there’s always room to recover should things go wrong. However, there are recoveries closer to home that we can all consider in the case of an individual disaster.
New technologies and the IoT are coming of age and multiplying rapidly. 2018 could well be when the unprepared amongst us find that we need a recovery plan for our virtual selves. How would you recover losing your virtual self?
If you’re reading this post, the likelihood is that you were logged in with an account to view the link to the article. Has your account been compromised though? Could someone be monitoring your account to gather information about you? If the worse happened and your passwords were cracked, guessed, recorded, how much damage could a hacker wreck? Consider the following :-
- Social media - they take over your account, gathering information about your friends, likes, dislikes etc. Inconvenient, but fixable.
- They move on to your more serious accounts, those with credit cards attached such as Amazon, mobile payment apps. Suddenly you’ve just purchased a sofa in Senegal, a desk in Delhi, transferred cash in Croydon.
- Moving on to more serious accounts they have established your card details through purchases and payments on your email, they have the answers to your secret questions from your social media accounts, and the fake or hacked shopping site you bought through. Suddenly you are locked out of your bank accounts, no cash left there, a loan in your name, mortgage payments cancelled, homelessness looms.
- Next you find your whole identity has been compromised. The police stop you driving because your insurance has been cancelled and now the DVLA says your address is in New Mornington, the photo they have on record doesn’t look like you either.
Will you be able to recover ? How long will it take ? What damage will be done ? Take a look at the passwords for all the accounts you have, if they are related to the following items, they are easier to guess : Someone’s birthday or name especially a relative or your details, a pet’s name, a place you lived or worked or holidayed.
How many sites do you use the same password for ? When did you last change your password for each of them ? Will insurance you have cover you for financial loss ? Will the insurance company insist you had taken insufficient steps to prevent fraud and theft ?
What action plan are you making for your personal disaster recovery , and what additional security changes will you be making to prevent it happening ?
Make a resolution in 2018 to change all your passwords for all sites and accounts and have each different from the other.
Stuck on how to make every password different ? Consider using a password safe application such as lastpass, base passwords on a passphrase, and use something related to the account to ensure the phrase is different. for example if you have a pass phrase of 99GreenBottle$OnTheFace-bookWal!JustFellDown .... using something about the site (eg. Facebook Wall reminds the phrase is Green bottles on the Wall ) to give you a hint for your unique passphrase for that account. ( please do not use this example )
telanova : Managing Business IT recovery since 1994