¶ A Whole New Level

Troy Hunt on a massive data breach at VTech:

I suspect we’re all getting a little bit too conditioned to data breaches lately. They’re in the mainstream news on what seems like a daily basis to the point where this is the new normal. Certainly the Ashley Madison debacle took that to a whole new level, but when it comes to our identities being leaked all over the place, it’s just another day on the web.

Unless it’s our children’s identities, that’s a whole new level.

When it’s hundreds of thousands of children including their names, genders and birthdates, that’s off the charts. When it includes their parents as well – along with their home address – and you can link the two and emphatically say “Here is 9 year old Mary, I know where she lives and I have other personally identifiable information about her parents (including their password and security question)”, I start to run out of superlatives to even describe how bad that is.

Make no mistake, this is bad. Our personal information and privacy is highly sought-after by advertisers, governments, and yes, even criminals. The days of saying that no one would be interested in your data are over. Everyone wants your data. It is time to start taking the security and privacy of your information seriously.

Use unique passwords everywhere with a password manager. (You can even lie on the answers to security questions and track what lie you gave a site in a password manager).

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when on public Wi-Fi.

Encrypt your devices. It's easy to do on OS X and iOS.

Be cautious of who you are giving personal information to.

And most of all, care about your data.