Keeping Your Personal Data Safe

January 30, 2018  Media, PA
Tech Insight


Is the past few weeks, two critical vulnerabilities were discovered in modern processors.  These were given the monikers "Meltdown and Spectre" and these vulnerabilities are found on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud.  The vulnerabilities are hardware related and potentially allow programs access to data that is currently processed on the computer's chip.  While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs.  This might include passwords stored in a password manager or browser, personal photos, emails, instant messages and even documents containing personal information.  The issue is found on iPhones and iPads in addition to PC’s and laptops such as Apple MacBooks, Google Chromebooks and others.

Simple things you’ve heard before but remain true:

1.  Keep all devices and computers up to date. Remember, it was the failure to timely apply updates that allowed for the data breeches such as Target and Yahoo.

2.  Use complex passwords and don’t have the same password for all of your sites and apps. While it is cumbersome, you should also change the passwords with some frequency. There are several apps that can manage your passwords, PCMag.com put out a good article on which are the best. You can find out more here https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407168,00.asp

3.  When using free WiFi such as coffee shops and airports use a VPN to ensure others cannot access your online activity including login and passwords.

You’ll never be completely safe, but following these tips will reduce the chances of being the next victim.



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