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YOU’VE JUST BEEN HACKED!

Check out the Cambridge Chamber latest “spectrum” magazine with my article on hacking and the issues related to it.

Here is the full article:

You’ve probably heard by now or have been affected by it, and that’s your passwords getting hacked. Yes, even the largest of companies still don’t have a full security protection from hackers being able to get into the server to get your information. In the past few months, Linked In, Tumblr, and Myspace, just to name a few, have all been compromised with username and password information getting leaked. Why would it affect you? Identity theft is the number one crime in North America. With credit cards and the simplicity of doing online payments, it seems so simple to start putting together an identity of yourself with a credit card to be set up instantly using your information. All of this can be done sitting at a computer.

One of my companies, Cityhosting, was set up to host small to medium-sized businesses and since then we’ve seen a massive increase of hacker attacks from everywhere across Europe, China and South America. The reasons for why they do this are a combination of just being teenagers doing something they’re not supposed to, professionals looking for ways to exploit their message, and online thieves that are trying to find ways into your computer to possibly hold it for ransom. What’s even more frightening, is Facebook and Messenger can now be used in a court of law. However, it was recently shared that Facebook Messenger has a bug that can allow someone to alter the messages.   Meaning that evidence in court can be tampered with. Another issue is that this Messenger also allows for ransomware to be installed into your computer.  

This year, the launch of Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay now gives easier access for someone to possibly use your bank account to purchase. In May 2016, all five Canadian banks are now going to support Apple Pay in Canada. The future of credit cards is pretty much gone. Our smartphones are becoming our computers and wallets.

Want to know if you’re email address was compromised? This website was created by an engineer of Microsoft that compiled all the blackmarket data into a system, where you can check what systems had your email and which are compromised: haveibeenpwned.com. You will get a pretty clear idea of which major online services have been hacked with your information.

So what are we going to do about it? To start, you can always securely change your passwords using uppercase, lowercase and special character combinations. Although, Google is now preparing for 2017, an all new way that you will never need to use a password again. It will work in conjunction with your fingerprint, which by the way, could be compromised with just plasticine. The major adjustment to this, is that Google is going to allow you to log into their services simply by confirming your mannerisms. Meaning Google will know exactly who you are based on what you type, and what you do with your smartphone. Yes, as Google is tracking where you are and tracking what you search, it will know if it is actually used, just by signing into the phone. For example, if you are acting a little weird based on numbers you call, or places you are going, it will know it isn’t you. It’s an interesting way to validate and confirm your identity. With so much information we are giving to Google and Facebook, it will quickly recognize mannerisms as a way to sign into the account. What is unfortunate is that Google is giving this information to the financial institutions in the United States, to also help in confirming identity theft. This means that the government will also have confirmation of who you are based on mannerisms of your smartphone. Big brother just got another date.

Android is also going to be releasing a new feature for operations that will allow to turn any Android phone into a brick. Currently you can get software that tracks where it was last located, as well as lock it down. But let’s just say it does get stolen. Someone can wipe the software and possibly sell it. With this new feature looking to come out in the coming year, you’ll be able to actually turn your Android device into a brick. The unfortunate side of this, is that if you lose your phone in the couch and turn your phone into a brick,. you can’t get it back. It will actually lock down the hardware and completely make it unusable even to yourself. But on the bright side, The benefit of having this feature on your phone is that no one will ever get your personal information and be able to use your phone after it’s been stolen, and it will not be able to be sold to another person.

For now, spend the time to make sure you have your phone (iOS, Android) setup to track, find and further lock down, and ensure that you keep your passwords updated and challenging enough so that they are unlikely to be hacked. If you need help finding or creating a password, you can always use http://passwordsgenerator.net/  

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