NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were a lot of year end statistics for 2016, and here’s one more — more than 2-billion of our emails and passwords were compromised last year.
You and your device may be victims and not even know it. Now, the question is how hackable are you?
“We generate so much data, surround ourselves with so much technology that our understanding and control over it is zero. So yes, we are entirely hackable,” Marak Tuszynski explained.
Tuszynski — the creative director and co-founder of Tactical Tech — helped curate a visual representation of data vulnerability at a recent New York exhibition, one example included 4 million LinkedIn passwords.
“We are being profiled all the time and don’t know about it,” he said.
According the Federal Trade Commission fake apps are downloaded all the time. Users should check for reviews to see if they’re legitimate — anything with misspelled words in the description should be a red flag.
Users should also be cautious of offers for retail apps. Check the store’s site to make sure it’s for real, or you may be downloading an ope door for a hacker.
“A lot of people are comfortable with the idea of exchanging privacy for conveniences and a lot of times within that exchange security concerns are often put aside,” Alex Heid, Chief Research Officer, Security Scorecard explained.
Heid showed how easily a device can be hacked using a clone of the Link NYC App.
“There are several flags in this. First of all that it’s asking you to download an app as opposed to just normally entering your email address,” Heid explained.
He said so many of us are just accustomed to putting in our info and clicking through.
“This device is now hacked,” he said. “Now we have access to the tablet through the computer user being none the wiser,” he said.
A hacked device can provide access to users’ call logs and contacts.
“We can record the microphone on the device, we can take pictures,” Heid explained.
It can all happen because a user ignored an obvious warning sign when using a cloned app.
Experts also cautioned against using free wi-fi if you don’t have to.
“Anytime there’s an offer of free wireless, there’s no expectation of privacy for that network,” Heid said.
Hacking seems to be almost unavoidable, but you should still mix numbers and letters for your passwords, or even use a phrase, and don’t use the same password for multiple sites.