What Apple and Amazon Are Doing After Their Hacking Fiasco

In a world of modern technology and information readily accessible on the Internet, hackers are able to get into personal information and steal identities. Taking measures to protect personal identity requires more than just relying on the large companies that develop the device or handle online accounts. Consumers need to protect information before hackers have a chance to strike.

Apple and Amazon Hacked

Hackers are not only attacking large corporations. They are targeting regular men and women who are using the services of Apple, Amazon and other large companies. The hackers find out information and steal personal data through the so-called secured systems used online.

According to Chenda Ngak on CBS News, Apple and Amazon had a system that allowed a hacker to steal the information of a customer, technology journalist Mat Honan. Honan’s iCloud account was hacked and he lost the control of his emails because of a system that allowed clients to change personal settings over the phone. This security breach allowed identity theft more easily and the hacker was able to change Honan’s password over the phone.

Since the hacker accessed Honan’s information and hacked into his accounts, Amazon and Apple have taken steps to prevent similar problems in the future. The system change will ensure that more information is needed to change the account information and prevents identity theft from hackers who obtain enough data to access the account in the previous system.

Measures to Prevent Hacking

A simple measure to prevent data loss, if your computer is hacked, is backing up all data. According to John D. Sutter on CNN.com, backing up account information on the computer, an external hard drive and a digital backup system is important to protecting information. Hackers take data from a computer and wipe the system, which can result in trouble if it is not backed up.

Beyond backing up the system, consumers should consider investing in the protection services available at lifelock.com. This service prevents hackers from stealing enough personal data to access accounts online. This limits the risk of a stolen identity.

Sonari Glinton on NPR.org suggests closing accounts that are no longer used. For example, those who opened several social networking accounts over the last ten years and only use one or two can start closing the old accounts that are no longer used. By closing the account, less data is out on the Internet and the information is less accessible to hackers.

Another aspect of protection is the password. By using the same password for every account, it is easy to end up the victim of a hacker. Sonari Glinton suggests creating tough passwords and making several different passwords for various accounts. The more passwords an individual creates, the less likely all of the accounts are accessed by a hacker. However, managing more than one password can be difficult as well; having password management tools, that are online and not only available on your desktop, can be helpful when you are dealing with five or more passwords. One great password management tool that is affordable and has received stellar reviews is LastPass 1.72 Premium, which you can access on your smartphone as well as on any other device that is connect online. Having a password manager with you anytime, anywhere can minimize your confusion and help you remember password changes as you make them.

Also, password choices should be difficult to crack. Using your mother’s maiden name, or your birthday, or even your dog’s name, is not necessarily as safe as some would like to think. A good hacker is actually thinking about what you consider to be secret and personal and will try those password choices first. Try to select a password that is encrypted and a combination of letters and numbers and is not similar to your other account passwords. Likewise if your account asks questions to retrieve your account information, don’t select a question that is easy to research and answer. Instead, choose a question that will be difficult for a hacker to research and answer.

Importance of Protection

Taking measures to protect personal accounts from being hacked is a vital part of owning any modern device. The hacked accounts that happened in the story could happen to anyone, even you. And while Apple and Amazon are somewhat responsible for securing their customer information, It is a users personal responsibility to take measures of protection on their own to protect their own devices and website. To learn more about what you can do to safeguard yourself and the people who are most important to you, whether they are your friends, employees, or family, visit the Veteran of Foreign Wars‘ site, there is a very informative article that outlines more of the valuable services Lifelock offers their customers.

Hackers are a serious problem, but taking measures to protect information can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Despite the changes Apple and Amazon are taking to protect consumer information, it is still important to take measures to prevent hackers and other individuals online from finding enough information to steal an identity.

17th biggest company in the world

I’d wager that the reason the Berkshire Hathaway web site is as ugly as it is is because Warren Buffett doesn’t see a reason to change it.

I’d also guess that it remains in its current form because it exemplifies Buffett’s outlook on spending — which is to be conservative with money.

The design leaves a lot to be desired, but you must admit it gets the job done. The site is usable. I can find the annual report, or the GEICO affiliate link for goodness sake.

I have been thinking about this for a few days and something about it really irks me. It is that design doesn’t need to be expensive. My guess is that Buffett wants his investors to perceive the company as thrifty. By leaving the site as it is, and publishing annual reports without a thought given to the design he most likely achieves this goal.

But does he accomplish one purpose and miss another? Does the Berkshire Hathaway brand suffer because of a lack of design or does it succeed without it?

I believe that a good designer could give the Berkshire Hathaway brand some incredible design weight while holding to the values Buffett wants to convey.

This post was originally inspired by a post on Hacker News about this topic.