Sony Data Breach – Lessons for the End-Users

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nabeel Shamsi

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In past few months, there has been a wave of security and data breaches.

First, it was HBGary, then RSA, then Epsilon, and now Sony. Today we will focus on Sony, as it I think the Sony breach offers some insight and lessons end users (customers).

Lessons for end users:

I) Use a unique user-name and password for each account. Of course this is almost impossible because it is hard to remember all the different user-names and passwords. In this case, you can either:

A) use a password encryption method and keep these login/ passwords stored ­­OR

B) group your login/password for each type of the account. Such as one login for your bank and credit card company, a different one for your online shopping sites, another one for your less secure sites such as newspapers and magazines etc.

This way if someone hacks into your newspaper site, so you don't have to change your bank password.

II) It is a good idea to use multiple email accounts; such as one for your banks and credit cards and another one for the online shopping (including play station and Xbox) sites and a 3rd one for your less secure sites coupons and magazine sites.

III) Use virtual credit cards: Both Citi and Discover offer virtual credit cards, which can only be used at a single merchant. In this case, if someone gets your virtual credit card, it is of no use to them.

IV) Remember nothing is 100% secure. There will be always be data breaches, what one can do is better prepare yourself.

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