Earlier this month, Yahoo revealed that it suffered a massive hack in 2013 that affected at least 1 billion user accounts. That came just three months after the company disclosed a hack from 2014 that affected 500 million accounts. The breaches are thought to be the biggest of all time, presenting uncharted territory for regulators at the Federal Trade Commission, which have thus far levied fines in cases that were a fraction of the size.

““Transactions performed over (Yahoo) email may be compromised and that can include all sorts of sensitive data”
— Vice News, Dec 2016

Leap's Advice On Data Security

Data security has become of the top issues now affecting not just the United states, but the entire world. In the U.S. alone conservative data breaches cost everyday Americans an estimated $4 million dollars annually. In order to help our clients better protect their business data and personal information we have assembled the following data security protocols we hope you adopt.

1. Hashtagged Passwords: Hashtags are popular for sharing information but did you know they can improve your data security? The reason why is because most virus (data worms, rabbits etc) have trouble reading hashtags in conjunction with the rest of your password. Start using hashtagged passwords like #Applebottoms36 or #Yahoobad now.

2. Avoid Birthdays & Phone Numbers: Hackers have become very proficient in discerning peoples birthday combinations in passwords.Avoid using phone numbers or other personal information. Instead, think more abstract; 

Consider using number patterns like 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28, 33, 38. 

The common difference variable is 5 in this pattern. You can add a similar sequence using your favorite number at the end or beginning of your password! Making your next password #star3813. See this site to help figure out how to use patterns https://goo.gl/s0vJIN


3. Vary Your Passwords: In a recent article concerning the Yahoo breach a lawyer familiar with data security made the following statement,

"“Transactions performed over (Yahoo) email may be compromised and that can include all sorts of sensitive data" Vice News, 2016

Too many of us the same passwords for our Facebooks, mobile banking setups and other important online transactions. So if a hacker gets a hold to that one password, he can use that along with other data procure to stole your entire online identity!

Solution: Vary your passwords and keep what we like to call a "Password Ledger" . A Password Ledger is an highly secured mini offline book or document that contains all the passwords and logins for your most important online activities (i.e. banking, managing website, social media management etc). We recommend having a minimum of at least three different passwords. Your email password being only used for your email and nothing else.

4. Stop Downloading Free Apps: For Android or even Iphone users the idea of using a smartphone without having new apps seems dinosaur. In 2016 however dinosaur is the best way to secure your most treasured data from hackers. Free apps from foreign companies based in Korea,China, India or even eastern Europe ! - have all been cited for being the part of the centralized source of all major data breaches. Leap's advice isn't stop using new apps altogether, but instead we implore you to only download trusted apps from companies that are well known, trusted and U.S. Based.

An example of such a app would be Dropbox. The popular cloud storage app was founded in 2007, by MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a startup company from the American seed accelerator Y Combinator. The app has a great reputation for functionality and security. Apps like Dropbox are using paid in app purchases charged to your mobile carrier, but their worth it!

We hope the above recommendations helps to protect you and your organization. If you would like to know more about how to protect your data security your Google Vault or offline strategies please setup an appointment with our senior liasion Jennifer Roberts at jennifer@leap72.com, or visit our online booking page https://www.leap72.com/book