NCSAM 2019 – Protect IT. – Learn to Lie!

Published On October 17, 2019 | By Tom Huskerson | News and Analysis, Security

We all grew up to learn that lying was wrong. As we got older we learned that a lie was sometimes necessary for the greater good. It’s all about perception and circumstances. To protect yourself online you need to lie.

How many times have you forgotten a password. Plenty I’m sure. Now you have to recover or change that password to access an online account you rarely use. Your mistake? Answering all those password recovery questions honestly.

You know how password recovery works. The site asks you what was your high school mascot? You answer and bang you get a new password. But did you stop to think how easily that information is to obtain. A simple Google search of your high school can reveal that data in seconds. How about your Facebook page? Your LinkedIn profile? Even your profile on your employer’s website. Let’s face it; you are an open book and its your own fault.

There is a way to avoid a massive and personal credential theft attack. That’s what we’re talking about here; theft, hijacking, hacking or whatever you want it call it of your online accounts. Always use a unique password for every single online account you have. That means a different password for Twitter, email, , Netflix, Amazon, Yahoo! and whatever other online services you may use. This way if you get hacked and lose control of an online account all the other accounts are safe because there is a different password for each.

Cyber criminals use a method known as credential stuffing. They will enter the email and password combinations stolen from one of your accounts into other online services. The website will respond with one of several answers. Either the email incorrect, the password is incorrect or both. If the hacker can determine that the password is incorrect and he or she knows enough about you they can research the answers to your security questions and get your password changed. Now they can control the account. Most hackers will even change the security questions so you can’t reclaim the account. Kiss it goodbye! If its you bank account or other financial service you could be looking at financial catastrophe.

Are you using two-factor authentication? If the hacker gets you user name and password they can still be blocked from your account if you are using that security step.

Now, how to fix the problem? Learn to lie!

Keep track of your passwords using a password manager. That helps to manage those long complicated passwords most websites require. When it come to those security questions here is great tip…LIE!

You’ll have to keep notes but create fake dates, favorite sports teams, pet names, fake it all. Here a way that can make that even easier. Sit down and create a fake person on paper. Give them a fake name, fake birthdays, fake parent’s names, husband, children, pets, jobs, create as many fake details about this person as you can think of . Write it all down somewhere and refer to it whenever you need to answer security questions. Of course some websites will require your real name and other details, but the security questions are where you protect yourself against credential theft.

Its National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Protect IT!

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and EbonyCandle.com. Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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