As I have been reporting to you, there have been a recent wave of serious hacking into companies such as Facebook and now Apple, that were long thought to be secure and safe from cyberattacks and these two companies are only two of the hundreds that have been hacked. Often companies do not publicize it when a hacking occurs. There is initial evidence that suggests that in the recent Facebook and Apple attacks, it may be the same people and the same vulnerability that is being exploited, namely a vunerability with Java software. The Department of Homeland Security and many computer security experts are advising people to disable Java on their computers. As I have told you previously, the computer security company Kaspersky Lab has indicated that Java software security flaws were responsible for almost half of all cyber attacks in the world last year. There are conflicting reports as to the source of these most recent hacking, some say Russia, some sayChina, but whoever it is, the result is the same. You and I are in danger. There are plenty of criminals and foreign enemies who can get access to the technology necessary to hack into the computers of the companies and intrastructure of our country. We are in grave danger.
So what can you do? President Obama spoke of the dangers of cyberwarfare in his State of the Union Address. The President and Congress need to act now! Email your Congressman and Senator and demand that they take action. Their lack of action in the face of a problem of which they have been aware for a long time has made this problem worse.
As for you and I, as I have said before, our information is only as safe as the security of the weakest institution that holds it and we have seen that banks and other institutions are not secure. Security begins at home so the first thing that you should do is to follow the security practices I describe in scamicide.com and in my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age.” Security software is important, but studies have shown it to be no more than 5% effective in protecting you from the latest viruses. It generally takes about a month for the software security companies to catch up. However, it is still important to have security software and make sure that it is current. In addition, you need backup documentation in case records at your bank, brokerage house or any other place that holds your assets are hacked into and lost. Copy them regularly to a thumb drive and keep the thumb drive in a secure place in your home. You should also make paper copies on a regular basis of your bank accounts, brokerage accounts and all other financial accounts and keep them in a locked safe in your home. Other personal documentation that you should copy and keep locked in a safe include birth certificates, Social Security cards, Deeds, Mortgages, credit card statements,insurance documents and evidence of all accounts that you may have. This may seem a little over the top, but it really is necessary in case of a major cyberattack on this country.