relating to climate change have been leaked to the
It has been reported that EMail correspondence between scientists involved
in climate change, have been leaked and published to a server on the
This would make the contents of the message available to a broader range of
people. Whilst the debate on climate change ensures, the concern here is the
hacking of the email accounts.
With reported hacking of Sarah Palin's email account during the 2008 US election
campaign, and EMail account passwords information reported published on the
net AntiPhishing EMail News, it seems a
timely discussion on hacking in general is in order.
Hacking: Hacking is basically
accessing someone's account without their permission. Such
access may be performed for nefarious purposes (eg: financial gain via hacking an
online banking account).
Hacking can also mean any breach of security, such as hacking a network and
accessing computers on the network. Websites can also be hacked and
The term 'hacking' basically started meaning someone was just being persistent
and 'hacking' away until security was breached. Nowadays however it
seems to encompass any form of account breach.
We will not discuss hacking methods, but we will discuss some practices to
avoid being hacked.
Some tips to avoid account
Use strong passwords.
- Use password that would be hard to guess.
- Don't use the same password on multiple accounts.
- Try use a combination of upper and lower case letters, and numbers in the
- Make the password long, at least 8 characters.
Keep your passwords secure.
- Store your passwords in a secure place.
- Don't give out your passwords.
- Don't respond to Phishing requests.
Change your passwords regularly.
It is important to change your password regularly. This doesn't mean
rotate them. Create new passwords. Once a month is good practice but
for sensitive accounts change more frequently.
EMail passwords are very important. Passwords for other account may be
sent to your EMail account and hence a hacker may only need to hack your EMail
account to be able to access more of your accounts.
Secret Question and Other Security.
Where possible use secret questions, and change these regularly too. If
other security feature are available with the account, utilize these as well.
Security software can help to avoid hacking by helping with anti phishing
techniques and blocking access to your PC via a firewall, amongst other
methods. However your own vigilance is also most helpful to