Gawker Media was seriously hacked in December, this CAN happen to you if you’re not careful about digital security. Read more about the hack at PC World.
Evan Stein of CMIT Solutions Manhattan offers these tips so that in case your hacked your online data is not completely compromised.
Create an email address that you can abandon if the address is released publicly.
It’s not a good idea to use a single email address for all your communications. Use your primary address for correspondence and trusted communications, but use a separate dummy address – preferably one that doesn’t contain your name, age, or location – for website logins. It’s fine if you use email@example.com for corresponding with your mother, but try something a little more anonymous for commenting on news sites. Many Gawker commenters – including employees of NASA and various government departments – used their work address when they registered. That’s just never a good idea.
Use a different password for every single account you have on the web.
That’s right: every single one. Gawker commenters who used the same password for many accounts risked having them all compromised if their passwords were cracked. (The hackers stole the passwords in encrypted form but could eventually decipher all of them.) Having a different password for every site minimizes the potential damage. If you insist on using just a few passwords, make sure you don’t use the same one for a highly secure bank site as you use for a less secure site with more lax password policies.
Use long, difficult-to-crack passwords.
It’s admittedly a challenge to create and remember a unique 20-character string of nonsense for every single password you need. Fortunately, a number of password-protection programs (including LastPass, KeePass, and 1Password) can autogenerate and store secure passwords for you. If you’ve ever curious about how long it would take to crack a particular password, you can go to HowSecureIsMyPassword.net and they’ll tell you.