Time Warner Cable is the country’s second largest cable telecommunications company. Recently the FBI discovered that personal information including email addresses and passwords of 320,000 Time Warner customers had been stolen. It has still not yet been determined whether the data was lost as a result of a hacking of Time Warner’s computers or of one of the companies it uses to handle account data. This again points out the problem that your data is only as safe as the security at the companies that hold your data with the weakest security.
Time Warner is contacting its customers by email and advising them to change their passwords. If you are a Time Warner customer, you should change your password even if you do not receive an email from Time Warner urging you to do so. This is also a reminder to all of us to make sure that we use unique passwords for all of our accounts so that in the event of a data breach such as occurred here, your other accounts are not in jeopardy. Finally, information stolen in hackings such as this are often used by scammers for spear phishing emails which are phishing emails that appear to come from a company with which you do business in which the email prompts you to click on links within the email or provide personal information. Because the email has been tailored to you personally, it is easy to fall prey to such a scam, which is why you should remember one of my primary rules, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” Never provide personal information or click on links in emails unless you have independently confirmed that they are legitimate.