What The Equifax Breach Can Teach Us About Security

There are a lot of lessons that can be taught by the recent Equifax breach

The Equifax breach is quite possible the biggest security blunder of our generation. I can’t stress enough the gravity of the situation and the position that Equifax put us in. More than half of American adults had their extremely sensitive information hacked. As new information about this hack comes to light, there are many lessons that we can learn from this colossal compromise.

Nobody is safe online

First and foremost, nobody is safe on the internet. The truth of the matter is that every single computer, server, and database is vulnerable to attack. While this is a scary thought, there are things that you can do to decrease your chances of getting your information compromised. Firstly, you want to make sure that your network is secure. If your WiFi is not setup with a password, or if your router is setup with the default password, your network is extremely vulnerable. Since most routers’ default username and password are admin and password respectively, someone can connect to your network using these credentials.

On the topic of passwords, make sure that your’s is secure. Perhaps the biggest scandal of the Equifax breach was how easy it was for hackers to access the database. Equifax’s login and password for a database that stored more than 50% of adult Americans’ most sensitive information was Admin and Argentina respectively. While it may not seem like a big deal to the average person, this revelation most likely made many security specialists cringe. Good password security is something everyone should practice. While we are moving onto fingerprint and facial recognition to unlock our devices, passwords still remain the most secure form of authentication. In fact, their biggest flaw is that some people make passwords that are easy to guess.

Password Security

Before continuing further, I urge readers to check out this list of the most commonly used passwords. If your password is on there, change it immediately. Having said that, secure passwords are secure when they are harder to guess and harder to crack. Good habits include using lengthy passwords, 8 characters should be minimum but I always recommend at least 14. These characters should be comprised of capitals, numbers, and special symbols such as !*&#@[]{}. Also, these passwords should be as random as possible. If you really like red Corvettes and that is apparent to everyone around you, you should not make your password “redcorvettes” because it would be something that a hacker might guess.

Last but not least, be smart with where you enter your personal information. If you are shopping online, make sure it is from a reputable retailer. In light of this recent breach, it’s also advised that you constantly monitor your credit and bank accounts. If you feel that you were affected by this, you can put a credit freeze so that no one is able to open credit cards in your name.