Hacking and Consumer Confidence

by Bob Hughes on September 29, 2016

Bob Hughes · Technology · September 29, 2016

Pendulum in Action, hacking accounts, Yaho and GoogleWe live in a digital world, and we’re digitally vulnerable. This is not news. But the recent news about how Yahoo Mail was pirated – with hackers breaking acquiring the account info of half a billion people – makes you realize just how prevalent and how easy such things have become.

We’ve all been hacked. It’s no longer even a necessity to apologize to all of one’s friends when they start receiving bizarre emails from someone using our email address. Now, we simply post on Facebook or somewhere else something along the lines of this: “It seems I’ve been hacked. If you receive something that doesn’t look like it was sent by me, it wasn’t sent by me.”

Everyone has been there. But that means everyone has to be vigilant. Especially on finding out that Yahoo wasn’t that concerned with the safety of the people who put their trust into its servers. When the email systems and servers of Yahoo and Google were compromised six years ago, only Google, it seems, was outraged by what had occurred. According to a story in the New York Times, by Nicole Perlroth and Vindu Goel, Google hired hundreds of security experts to fix the leak and prevent further break-ins. On the other hand Yahoo, according to the article, “was slower to invest in the kinds of defenses necessary to thwart sophisticated hackers that are now considered standard in Silicon Valley.”

What’s worse, when Marissa Mayer become Yahoo’s chief executive, she focused on developing new products rather than improving security. (Yahoo has since worked to better its security. )

But along the way people have begun to lose faith in the reliability of Yahoo Mail.

Now, many people have moved on to Google Mail or other mail, or rely on texts, or create their own email accounts through a variety of means. But for many people who signed onto Yahoo Mail years ago, it can be difficult and time-consuming to switch to another default email address for the many online services that require you to use an email address in order to buy, read or visit.

For now, rather than deleting your Yahoo account and going to the trouble of visiting all of those sites that relied on your mail with Yahoo, it would be best to change your password on Yahoo, and to institute the two-step security sign in (this involves an additional code, often sent by text to your cellphone).

But many people are not using Yahoo as they used to – either by indifference or, worse, because they are no longer confident in Yahoo. Confidence is very hard to get back.

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