Yahoo Breach & Cyber Security: The Importance of Data Encryption

Technology has evolved to the point that we can no longer imagine our lives without the use of multiple devices. Nevertheless, as the development of digital gadgets progresses, so do the cyber security threats.

In fact, by 2021, the cybercrime damage costs will reach $6 trillion per year, a dramatic increase from the $3 billion in 2015. Global ransomware damage costs for this year alone are predicted to exceed $5 billion. And what about human damages? By 2020 the online breach will hit approximately 4 billion people.

To make matters worse, Yahoo users are already vulnerable due to the massive security breach. Which means that we might not make it to 2020, because cyber-crime has already taken its toll.      

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the majority of tech trends emphasize  the need for an adaptive and increased security. However, until digital technology platforms and application designers find a beneficial solution, we are all in risk of cyber-attacks.

Still, there is a solution to lock your private information and keep it hidden from the malicious hazards. What do you know about data encryption?

The Yahoo Breach Story Continues

Remember the Yahoo security breach last year? Well, Yahoo recently announced that the big data breach apparently had a much larger impact than we originally thought.

For those who don’t remember, Yahoo claimed that about a billion of its users’ accounts had been compromised in August 2013. However, it went up from initial reports of 500 million, then a billion, and the number had finally risen to 3 billion accounts registered at the time.

Which means that if you had a Yahoo email account, your sensitive data had been compromised, including:

  • Email address
  • Name
  • Passwords
  • Phone numbers
  • Birthdays
  • Security questions and answers (encrypted or unencrypted)

Although Yahoo urged all its users to change their passwords, it additionally sent emails to 2 billion users believed to be affected. But just this month, Oath (a subsidiary of Verizon Communication Inc.), the company that acquired Yahoo, released a disclosure notice supporting the severity of the security breach.     

But how can this compare with other social media platforms breaches? As far as we know, Dropbox experienced issues back in 2010 with the breach of 68.7 million accounts, while Facebook stated that .06% of all their log-ins are compromised. Sadly, there are many more similar cases that impose a question – “Are we really safe online?”

Protect Your Sensitive Information via Data Encryption

What is data encryption? Encryption is a process of encoding your data so that valuable information remains hidden and unavailable to users without authorization. This tool of cyber defense protects sensitive and private information and enhances the security between application and server communication.

Data encryption is your last line of defence that will keep you safe from malicious attacks and cyber criminals. Even if the unauthorized entity gains access to your data, they will not be able to read it. The encryption also restricts the access across all of your networks and therefore blocks the spread of malware.

How Does It Work?

The encryption process is based on cryptography. Basically, encryption uses algorithms and computers to encode, i.e. translate, plaintext or readable data into ciphertext or unreadable code. The only way to decrypt a scrambled plaintext is by using an encryption key (password).

You might have heard that this type of online security is not 100% unbreakable. Sure, sometimes it’s possible to crack the code, but this type of action would take a very long time to breach.

Then again, once your initial data encryption is set up, don’t forget to regularly maintain your accounts. You need to keep them up-to-date and straighten the security by changing the passwords.  

Furthermore, if you wish it to be more efficient, then you should:

  • Make a long and hard to guess password.
  • Use numbers, capital and small letters, signs.
  • Store your sensitive data on the encrypted drive.
  • Create multiple encrypted containers to make only the information you want to share accessible to specific users.
  • Update frequently.
  • Download quality security programs.
  • Avoid the use of open Wi-Fi.  
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple platforms.
  • Don’t expose your personal data to the cloud.

Modern times bring modern troubles. Nowadays, all your personal information and even identity could be stolen in a blink of an eye. So, be sure to use data encryption and pay close attention to your accounts. After all, you know what people say: “Better safe than sorry.”