When the hack was publicized by the writer, Apple froze the ability to reset passwords over the phone for at 24 hours, as that was how the hacker had found his way into the system. Amazon also responded by keeping anyone from being able to simply add a credit card by providing their name, email address and physical address, as those can be falsified quite easily. While there were holes in the security procedures in many of these company’s basic systems and some of the security protocols weren’t followed to the letter by employees, it still shows a basic vulnerability among these companies. This leads to an even bigger concern: if a major company like this can be so easily hacked, what about individuals whose personal information can be stolen? And what does this mean for other Apple users? The most basic solution is to safeguard yourself and not rely solely on a company, like Apple or Amazon to protect your information.
The truth is, no one is out to get your personal information, but if you don’t protect and make it available to be stolen, there is a much higher chance it will be now days. Billions of dollars in identity theft occur every year and much of it is preventable. By changing and safeguarding passwords, or at least making them complicated to figure out, identity thieves are often stymied and will move on to an easier target. Another easy solution for protecting yourself against identity theft is signing up with a company like lifelock.com for a small fee per month. The company will have a team watching your bank accounts, credit cards and various other forms of your finances for suspicious activity. When something does occur, the team can shut your bank account down immediately before any real damage can be done.
However, when it comes to sensitive files and data, the security breaches at Amazon and Apple are much more worrisome. As this will most likely happen at some point in the future to other users. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself against destructive hackers. You should always back-up all your files as well as set up a two step verification for your email. If you use a major email company like Gmail or Yahoo, consider setting up another one through a smaller, more secure company as a secondary email. This way, if anything happens at these big companies that are a bigger target for hackers, your email life won’t be effected as badly. Also, don’t link your accounts together. While it’s much more convenient to just go from one device or account to another with a few clicks of the mouse or swipes of your hand, once hackers or identity thieves are inside your digital world, they will have access to everything and can do with it as they please. Sometimes convenience must be sacrificed for the sake of security.
The breach at Apple and Amazon are a frank reminder to everyone that no matter what a big company does to protect your online identity, it is ultimately up to you to safeguard yourself as well and never just rely on another institution to take full responsibility for protecting you.