In a world where it is increasingly common to wake up and read about yet another massive data breach that has struck some of the largest corporations on the planet, it is natural to fear for the security of the information that you’re storing in the digital world. The latest victim is Sony Pictures. Hackers obtained terrifying amounts of information from unsecured Sony servers and released emails, confidential PowerPoint presentations and even feature films that aren’t scheduled to come out for months onto the Web.
When news about these types of data breaches strikes, it’s natural to look to security experts to help ease those concerns. This is especially true during the online holiday shopping season, when so many people look to the Internet for last-minute gifts and purchases designed to show those special people how much they truly care. If Sony’s confidential information isn’t safe, how safe can your credit or debit card really be? While many different techniques are being employed to help keep private information as safe and as secure as possible, they are still not without their issues.
Case in point: since the recent iCloud hacking scandal that saw the private photographs of dozens of leading Hollywood celebrities exposed to the world at large, Apple has begun enabling a security measure called two factor authentication on many iTunes accounts. Though two factor authentication is not yet mandatory, signs point that it may become so in the future.
Two factor authentication, as its name suggests, requires two points of input to secure an account. A simple password isn’t enough – a numerical code will also be sent to your mobile phone or device of choice. The working theory is that even if a hacker gains a hold of your account password, they still won’t be able to get into the account unless they also have your cell phone.
This works excellent in theory, but reports from users indicate that there are still several kinks to be worked out in the system. In Apple’s case, users are given a specific password, which is a combination of numbers, letters and special characters like “$” or “@,” to use in the event that they forget both their original password and lose their mobile phone. If you have neither points of authentication, that “master password” can still be used to gain access to the account. The problem is that for the purposes of security, Apple does not hold a record of this key in any way. Users who have lost the key have reported that they are permanently locked out of their iTunes accounts with no hope of recovery.
Digital security has come a long way in recent years, but technological advancements like two factor authentication prove that we still have quite a way to go before digital and cyber threats will truly be a thing of the past.
About the Author:
Chris Backert is the GM of Election-America. With over 10 years of experience in elections, Chris Backert is a proven innovator in the field of elections. Chris can be reached directly at (866) 514-2995 x 102 or CBackert@Election-America.com.