Ways to Ensure You Don’t Get Hacked

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The U.S. military’s Central Command Twitter account is up and running again after it was hacked this week.

CyberCaliphate, a group that claims connections to ISIS broke into @Centcom and Central Command’s YouTube account and posted information on the costs of Pentagon weapons, Congressional transcripts, and other documents. Central Command, of course, went a little further in responding to such an attack than an ordinary person would—it investigated the attacked and determined the ISIS connection may be fake. (Most of the documents were already publicly available, and the group referred to ISIS as ISIS—something ISIS doesn’t do.) But on a more basic level, the people behind @Centcom did what anyone would do after having his or her Twitter hacked: They went offline and reconfigured the security settings.While it was Twitter and YouTube’s servers that were hacked here—not the Pentagon’s—a hack is still a hack. It’s not yet clear what exactly happened, but one thing is for sure: @centcom’s login credentials were compromised, and that could happen to you just as easily as it could to the federal government. The steps to take afterward are the same for everyone, Pentagon or otherwise. There’s no failsafe way to keep your accounts perfectly secure, but there are things that can help.

There’s no foolproof way to thwart every digital attack, but taking a few smart steps will make it much less likely that you’ll suffer a major security breach.

KEEP YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT WALLED OFF

Make sure all your accounts aren’t daisy-chained together. A good start is keeping Twitter and Facebook unlinked. It’s also a good idea to use different email addresses for logins to those sites and other popular ones. Having everything tied to a single Gmail account can lead to disaster if that email gets hacked.

USE A STRONG, UNIQUE PASSWORD

A randomly generated combination of letters, symbols, and numbers is best; at the very least, use some combination that has both letters and numbers and steer clear of common phrases. Yes, it’s a pain to create and remember unique passwords. But when someone figures out your Twitter password and uses it to access your bank accounts and email, you’ll wish you had. Change those passwords often.

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Source: Popular Mechanics  / Rachel Z. Arndt