July 8th, 2016


Call The Police – I’ve Been Hacked

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So the pioneer of social media had his password hacked. The password that was designated to secure his accounts was “dadada”. Well the password came back to sting him. It seems that like many of us, there was little thought given to selecting a “secure” password. Rather, again like many of us, the priority was convenience versus security. Thus the proliferation of simplistic passwords such as “name123”, that have been popularly chosen to protect access to our online world. How humbling it must have been when Mark Zuckerberg realized that his online identity had been compromised.

Thankfully the hackers only gained access to his social accounts on Pinterest and Twitter; but imagine if they accessed his wealth or future plans for Facebook and other projects? The damaging effects increase dramatically when hackers cross the privacy boundaries of items we don’t mind exposed versus the personal and business matters that we would never want exposed. Yet, how thin of a line is it that hackers must cross to make the quantum leap from hacking a Twitter account versus a JP Morgan account? If they can hack one, can they be that far off from accessing every personal and business account? Remember there are hackers working around the clock to enter your magic kingdom and they seemingly have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Recently, I’ve had to revisit a few websites that I hadn’t visited in quite some time. Of course, I had forgotten a few passwords and although I admit being guilty oPassword postitf similar passworditis, I simply couldn’t remember each and every password, causing me to take a roundabout way to access “MY OWN” information. We’ve all been there, as we participate in the password merry-go-round. First, let me make several fruitless attempts to remember my password, ideally stopping before I’m locked out of the account. Next, let me humbly select the “Forgot Password” link. Now, let me hope that the reset email appears in an instant and does not get blocked by a spam filter or get posted as junk mail.. Once it arrives, I still have to go through the tedious reset process, typing my new password in several times. But here becomes the issue! Where do I note my new password? Should I jot it down on my desk blotter? Should I post it on a Post-it note? Where exactly does one keep their password library? What happens if someone accesses your password library, do they have free reign over your world?

As a business professional I manage my share of passwords, but I wouldn’t say that I’m a highly active user of the internet. I’m a member of a few social media sites and have used a handful of online companies for their services. In actuality, I’m probably a traditional user with an average number of passwords. Well that’s what I thought up until recently. Now, my opinion didn’t change about me being the average internet user, but my perspective clearly changed when I took a few minutes to reflect upon and write down all of the passwords that I own. Take a moment right now and ask yourself how many websites or apps that you access require a password? Place your answer here _______! I’m willing to bet that you underestimate the true number of passwords in your online portfolio.

Here’s a snapshot of mine:

United Airlines
PNC Bank
Chase Bank
Fidelity Management
Constant Contact
Medical Records Online
Jacquie Lawson
Retro Fitness

That’s 39 sites that require a password, each with their different nuances. It’s far too many passwords for the average person to manage without impeding workflow, convenience and sanity!

We all must keep in mind the birth of the password, for it was developed to secure something very different from its proposed purpose today. Passwords were introduced to protect our initial email accounts and to provide a secure entre-vu into basic, somewhat parochial online activities. The password was not created to protect your $20,000 credit card limit or your $100,000 banking transaction. When a bank transfers money, do they send a guy with a brief case or an armored car? It’s time to retire the password and start securing your online worCyber keyboardld with the armor of your own biometrics.

BIO-key’s highly accurate fingerprint biometric technology delivers world class performance and the ability to positively identify you from a pool of a 100 million plus users in an instant. There is no need to continue to use vulnerable and cumbersome passwords. Organizations that integrate biometric authentication are witnessing the unique benefits of increased security and increased convenience, all delivered by BIO-key’s suite of biometric hardware and software solutions.

Recently, BIO-key introduced a series of compact fingerprint readers that are compatible with the new Windows 10 biometric sign-in platforms. SideSwipe and EcoID work seamlessly with Windows Hello allowing customers to sign-in with their biometric – replacing their password. Those same readers also operate with Windows Passport biometric sign-in, delivering a more robust user experience by allowing one touch fingerprint access to hosted websites and applications.

Update! Before I could even finish editing this article another noteworthy breach took place as the NFL had its Twitter account hacked and the hacker posted a false tweet about the death of the NFL’s commissioner. These hacks will only continue to become more and more damaging to individuals and organizations. So, let the NFL and others learn a lesson, passwords like Football123 have seen better days.