Expert: Use Complex Passwords to Protect Accounts

Image: Expert: Use Complex Passwords to Protect Accounts (Aprescindere/Dreamstime)

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 04:25 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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One primary method to protect Internet cloud accounts from hackers is to use "complex" passwords, Steven J.J. Weisman, cyber-security expert, lawyer, and professor at Bentley University, told Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" on Tuesday.

Making headlines on Sunday was a report that hackers had posted nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and as many as 100 other female celebrities. The hackers may have used Apple's iCloud system, and Apple and the FBI announced on Monday that they were investigating the matter.

"People unfortunately don't have good passwords, and any password and user name is all you need to access that person's iCloud account. So, until people learn how to use different passwords and complex passwords, we're all going to have that potential threat," Weisman said Tuesday.

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The Internet and cloud computing are "not as safe as people think," Weisman said, adding that a flaw in Apple's software could have allowed a "brute-force attack" on its system.

Weisman said an additional problem that was not being reported was that malware was embedded in email links to the website where the photos were displayed.

"A lot of people are hearing this in the news and, maybe, receiving emails, text messages, or links to go to websites that will have some of these pictures. Unfortunately, there are a lot of identify thieves who have set up malware if you click on these links or go to these sites," he said.

Additional safeguards people could use to protect themselves include using a debit card only at ATM machines and not storing credit card numbers at online websites, Weisman said.

For those who do store their credit card numbers online, he suggested using a complex password that has "a mixture of capital letters, small letters, and symbols."


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