Sunday, March 3, 2013

Security: Evernote Warning Should Mean Changing Our Online Behavior and Complacency (And Passwords Often)

If you don't know by now, Evernote has warned that everyone change their passwords because "Evernote's Operations & Security team has discovered and blocked suspicious activity on the Evernote network that appears to have been a coordinated attempt to access secure areas of the Evernote Service". (Evernote blog)

Evernote logo

A couple of observations about this.  Before I start, I want to say that this is not specific to Evernote.  In fact, various media outlets, like the New York Times, Washington Post, and WSJ, along with tech giants like Yahoo and Google in the past and, more recently, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft were all victims of coordinated and sophisticated hacking attacks.

And with more of us putting our data in the cloud, through various services and webapps and apps, we have to assume that one or more of them is always under cyberattacks and threats.  Furthermore, we may even have to assume that some of our data has already been compromised.

So, constantly changing passwords becomes all the more important than ever.  Backing up your data is also very important - not just stuff on your PC hard drive.  This goes for any banking or online purchases you might undertake - while you probably cannot back up your all your data, you might be able to download some data or take screen shots.

Also, don't think just because we spend more time on our mobile devices and less on PCs means that we are any safer.  Complacency is going to be a big killer.

Regardless of what Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or your online bankers say, we cannot assume that they will be able to protect us thoroughly.  I reckon we are just one major attack away from really putting the fear of God into all of us.  And I think such a major attack is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

I've got a lot of my Evernote, e-mails, and other online docs backed up as are my passwords on a mobile backup drive.  I'm not sure that's even enough.  And it does take discipline to do all that I've mentioned.

It's like credit card frauds.  I've had it happened a couple of time to me already.  It happens even though I thought I've done everything I can to be careful.  It happens.

Just like a cloud attack.


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