How To Protect Yourself From The Next Big Hack

Download Audio

Here & Now Guest:

  • Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe reporter

There seems to be more news daily about hackers breaking into company databases and gaining access to account information of thousands of people — from a recent attack on Citigroup to the CIA to Sony.

Hiawatha Bray, of the Boston Globe, says that there are so many attacks party because people are putting more and more information online. Bray recommends a few easy steps to protect yourself.

  1. Be careful what you put online. Facebook has detailed privacy settings, but make sure that they are turned on, because the default is to make a lot of users' posts public.
  2. Do not use the same password twice. If you have trouble keeping track of multiple passwords, use a service like RoboForm or LastPass. Bray says that even though these services have occasionally been hacked, saving multiple passwords on such a service is less risky than using the same password for all your accounts.
  3. Keep close tabs on your bank accounts and credit score. Bray recommends checking to make sure your accounts haven't been compromised at least once a week.  He also says that there are three websites that offer free credit reports once a year, and by using all three you can get a free report every four months. They are: Equifax, TransUnion, Experian.
  4. Put your credit on ice: For $5 in Massachusetts you can have the country's three major credit bureaus put a freeze on your credit, which prevents anyone else from requesting information on your credit score, before trying to get a loan under your name.

This segment aired on June 23, 2011.


More from Here & Now

Listen Live