Are You Sick & Tired of Security Breaches Forcing You To Change All Your Passwords?
Well, I am. I’ve been working on a blog post recently about how right now, at the close of 2014, it appears that the hackers are winning. But frankly, I’m kept so busy updating software and changing passwords that I just never get it done!
So the purpose of this article is twofold:
My first purpose is to let people know, if they aren’t already aware, that Ransomware is still a big problem and the old standby method of having 1 antivirus application just doesn’t offer adequate protection anymore. If you aren’t familiar with Ransomware it’s an especially nasty, yet prolific virus form that encrypts all of the data on you computer and/or you entire home or business network. The only way to restore your data is by paying a ransom to the hackers involved. Paying them is not easy because they usually require the payment to be in Bitcoins, nor is it advised. But if you’ve not backed up all of you family photos and videos this could be devastating. And even if you have, your backups can also be affected, so it pays to have mutliple forms of backups. In addition, paying the ransom does not ensure that you’ll actually receive the encryption key to unlock your data…which is one of the reasons paying the hackers is ill advised. The other of course, is that paying them just gives them more incentive to continue.
This happened to someone I know well recently. They run a small business and all of their computers were encrypted in a matter of hours. It was only through the vigilant work of their offsite firewall service provider that it was discovered early on in the encryption process and their backups were saved before the encryption reached too deep into their levels of protection. The results were still devastating and required new machines. About a days worth of data was lost as well as about a weeks worth of time to restore everything back to normal. So the cost was high…but they considered themselves lucky! The ransom demanded in this instance was $4000, or $1000 per computer, and the variant in this instance was CryptoWall. One of the original variants in recent years was CryptoLocker, so if you Google CryptoLocker you can read all about the recent history of these viruses.
To protect against this you really should be running an AntiMalware suite alongside your antivirus software if you use Windows as your OS. Even Linux and Apple OSX are not immune, but less often targeted as usual. And you should consider adding an anti-ransomware application like Malwarebytes Anti-Exploits too. There are free versions like Anti-Exploits which you can easily find with Google, but Anti-Exploits is inexpensive and automatically updated, so for me it’s worth the small cost.
Dashlane’s Announcement Today:
Announcing Password Changer
One-click password changes in Dashlane
My second purpose today is to tell you about Dashlane’s new features, which are only available by invitation right now. But if you like them on Twitter and Facebook you can move up through the wait list quickly.
Dashlane announced their new features today, December 9th in an email to their existing customer base. When I got around to reading my emails this evening, there were already 23,300 people ahead of me on the wait list. But this offers some amazing new functionality and I’m really excited.
The concept is that when you’re informed of a breach, (Dashlane has been really on top of keeping their users informed of breaches) then rather than having to change all of your Passwords manually, Dashlane does it for you with one click! Since I’m not using it yet I have no idea how this actually works, and I’m sure there’s really a little bit more involved on the users part, but regardless, anything would be a huge improvement over the current situation of having to change each password manually yourself! Even when using a password manager like Dashlane, or LastPass, this part is just plain tedious…or at least it was…up until now!
Here’s a link to Dashlane’s blog telling you more about it and also to their cute new video explaining the concept.
Some of the websites the new Dashlane Password Changer works with currently:
I just got my invitation!!!