Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Major Celebrity Hacks and What We Can Learn From Them

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It’s certainly not uncommon for people to have their devices or accounts hacked.Due to the popularity of celebrities, they’re particularly favorable targets. A hacker’s goal is sometimes just to spy on your activities, but they can also send emails or even maliciously post on your social media accounts. They can also snatch your photos, delete your files, crash your device and even steal your identity.
Some celebs have unfortunately found this out the hard way. Over the past few years, numerous celebrities have had their accounts hacked.Though it appears that none of these hacks have led to
identity theft, many celebrities have had their photos “leaked.” Experienced hackers even postedon their social media accounts.

Perhaps one of the most notable celebrity hacks of all has been what’s dubbed by the perpetrators as “The Fappening.” In this incident, over 100 individuals were affected when a hacker got into their iCloud accounts. Several celebrities had nude photos leaked due to this attack, and though criminal charges have been pursued, getting something removed from the internet once it’s gone viral is nearly impossible.
On the bright side, there are ways to prevent some of these cyberattacks from occurring. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from them!

Always Use Security Software
One common mistake a lot of people make is using the internet without any security software. Even smartphones and tablets can be compromised, so it’s important to use apps that protect you on those devices as well. Start out with anti-virus software, which you can obtain from companies such as Avast, AVG or Panda.
Each of those companies offers different anti-virus software to suit your needs. You can sign up for one of their paid subscription plans for some additional features, but the free versions of the software should suffice for regular individual use.
An anti-virus program will scan your device for malware (you should scan at least once a month, if not more often), remove malware if need be and also scan individual files before opening them (should you want to). If you decide to use Avast’s software, you’ll also be able to utilize some handy anti-theft features, which are most important to have on your mobile devices.

Secure Your Internet Connection
Another program you should always useisa Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s easy to use the internet on your smartphone or tablet while on the go, but have you ever thought of whose internet connection you’re using? Unfortunately, rogue hotspots aren’t a threat anti-virus software can help you with.
Many smartphones are enabled to connect automatically to WiFi hotspots, so you could even be connecting to WiFi without your knowledge just by walking down the street! Since these WiFi hotspots are public networks, your internet connection isn’t safe. Who knows what kinds of people are also using the network!
Some hackers use this to their advantage by hanging out nearby so they can easily spy on your activity. All it takes a hacker is a few minutes and they could be intercepting your incoming and outgoing traffic online. They could be looking through your downloads, spying on your activities, stealing your login details or even getting information to perform identity theft.
This is where a VPN comes in. If you use a VPN service while on the go or at home, you can secure your connection and avoid these sorts of cyberattacks. AVPN service allows you to connect to a remote server that masks your IP address with an encrypted connection.
Your internet traffic is routed through the service, but you’ll also be able to unblock geo-restricted content and work without fear of tracking. As far as choosing a VPN service goes, there are a lot of different ones to choose from. In terms of affordability, BufferedVPNgets stellar reviews.

Strengthen Your Passwords
Though it isn’t certain how some of the celebs got hacked, there’s evidence to suggest that the celebrities affected by “The Fappening” may not have had very strong passwords. Some accounts may have been accessed using a brute force attack, essentially meaning culprits hit on the right passwordsafter an extremely large number of guesses.
Security questions linked to the accounts may have been deduced as well, which isn’t very surprising given the amount of personal information available to the public about celebrities. When creating the answer to a security question on your account, keep in mind that a lot of information (such as previous addresses, last name, birthdates and schools you attended) is readily available to those who know how to find it online.
That should also be an important factor in creating your passwords, as you generally should exclude any personal details. Other ways to strengthen your passwords are to include numbers, both uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols whenever possible. Avoid simple words found in the dictionary. Also try to avoid writing it down. Then set up a schedule to change your password at least every three months.

Be Aware of Your Settings
It’s especially important to be aware of all of your settings on your devices. Perhaps some of the leaked photos wouldn’t have been compromised to begin with if the celebrities were aware that all of their photos on their iPhones were being automatically backed up to their iCloud accounts. Check through the settings on your mobile devices, as some are enabled by default when you purchase and set up your device.
You’ll often have the option to opt out of some services offered, but you must check your settings,read app permissions and review user agreements carefully in order to realize what you’re consenting to.

Reconsider Handing Over Information
In the case of the iCloud attack, there was a fake email account (called “appleprivacysecurity”) created that may have also been used to obtain some of the celebrities’ login details. A simple email can seem harmless, but it could contain malicious hyperlinks or even be posing as a company in order to persuade you into handing over your account information.
It’s unlikely that a company would email you asking you for your account details (they already have them, and it’s highly unlikely they’d lose them), so keep that in mind when opening your next email in order to prevent a cyberattack.
Though it’s uncertain which exact methods were used to access celebs’ accounts, they surely would have been better protected if they had been implementing these internet security tips. Even without celebrity status, the internet can be a dangerous place. Stay safe!
Have you ever noticed when one of your favorite celebs’ accounts has been hacked?Do you have any tips to avoid hackers? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:Caroline loves keeping up with the latest celebrity news when she’s not busy writing on entertainment topics for CultureCoverage.com. Whenever possible, she also enjoys sharing internet security tips to help fellow internet users stay safe on the net.

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