Lessons Learned From Celebrity Photo Hacking

The FBI is investigating how nude photos of many Hollywood actresses ended up online for the world to see. Many of the pictures appear to have been stored on Apple's iCloud storage system. Today, Apple acknowledging... "We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet."All of this raising concerns about the security of the cloud. Most of us rely on it. whether we post photos to Facebook, use a service like Dropbox to back up our files, or simply have contacts or e-mails stored with Google, Apple or any number of internet based services. Experts say the two main ways to better protect your data are: First... by creating strong and unique passwords. A good idea says Dr. Mauricio Papa, associate professor of computer science at TU, but "the problem with that approach is we're asking people to pick longer passwords that are difficult to guess. When a password is difficult to guess sometimes it is difficult to remember."So Papa advises to add another layer of protection ... called the 2-step authentication. So on the iPhone for example ... "What would happen is you enter your username and password and then Apple will send a code, a four digit code or something like that, to your phone. Then you're required to type that code before you're given access to the account and that would be the second step."So if you see that code sent back to you, and you didn't enter your user name and password in the first place, you would know a hacker was trying to access your account. Dr. Papa admits while the two step authentication is less user-friendly, it's the price of protecting your privacy. Something dozens of celebrities have a lot less of tonight.