Mega hacks like the Facebook breach provide endless ammo for spearphishers. These six tips can help you stay safer.
Huge breaches have become so common that it’s tempting for users to write them off as no big deal. Take Facebook’s recent announcement that hackers made off with personal info of 30 million users of the platform. How bad can it be for someone to have access to the kind of basic information we all share with hundreds or thousands of our friends, anyway? It’s not bank account info or Social Security numbers, right?
Well, it is a big deal — not because of what might happen on Facebook but because of how the thieves can use the information to launch spearphishing attacks. Even if you quickly changed your password to protect your privacy on Facebook, a fleeting snapshot of your Facebook activity — your name and employer, your LinkedIn URL, your religion, the people you follow, and your most recent searches — will give a good spearphisher more than enough information to craft a nearly irresistible bogus email: “Hi, Kowsik. I see that you love that new Spanish restaurant downtown. I just found a foodie site that’s offering a coupon for a free meal!”