Questionnaires and knowledge-sharing websites like SurveyMonkey and Answers.com are ubiquitous throughout the web. They aren’t at the forefront of our minds when we think about data security, often under the guise of fun questionnaires on social media sites. It is easy to forget how weaved into third-party services our information can find itself; creating a real data propagation risk to your personal and company’s security.
Just last week it was revealed that popular Q&A website, Quora, had a data breach. Much of their information in-flow relies on login connections with social media accounts like Google and Facebook. Its scope included people’s non-pubic content, email addresses and passwords; akin to what happened with the ongoing Cambridge Analytica case. Many individuals who connected via social media platforms weren’t even aware they had an account with the company, with their data being stored on their and others’ servers perpetually.
How to stay safe from this kind of breach?
- Go through your social media accounts, including LinkedIn, and disassociate any apps that you don’t recognise or no longer need to be connected to.
- Delete accounts for web services you no longer use or need. This may require logging into and cancelling each platform individually.
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Two-factor authentication is your friend.
If you have been a victim of cybercrime such as fraud, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
Nelson Clemente (BEng, ISO27032)
getNEXT – Systems Engineer, Cyber Security Awareness