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We're in a hacking epidemic, and it's user beware

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 19/03/2017 Jefferson Graham

Two step authentication sends a text with a code for you to log-in to websites© Jefferson Graham Two step authentication sends a text with a code for you to log-in to websites Maybe your Yahoo account got hacked. Or your preferred presidential candidate didn’t get elected, in part due to damaging information revealed by a hack of an official’s Gmail account. How about that McDonald’s Twitter hack this week—now, do we have your attention?

No story generated bigger tech headlines this week than news related to what's thought to be the largest hack on the books: The Yahoo hacks.

The Department of Justice charged two Russian hackers and two Russian security officials with the theft of over 500 million Yahoo accounts, a breach that was only half the size of one Yahoo later revealed.

But if that wasn't enough of a wake-up call, McDonald’s customers got a rude surprise when a tweet from the company's official Twitter account said President Donald Trump was “disgusting” and had small hands. In other words, it clearly didn’t come from the corporation, and McDonald's said so shortly after it was discovered, adding that its Twitter account was "compromised."

So now we’re talking personal information, and a hack that could dent the corporation’s bottom line. 

We have a major hacking epidemic to deal with, and one way all of us can protect ourselves is by switching now to two-factor authentication for our e-mail and social media accounts.

Basically, we sign in twice: with a password, and a code which usually gets sent to us in a text. Security experts say this is the best defense against hackers available today. 

How to add 2FA to your social media and e-mail accounts

—On Facebook, go to your account settings and the security tab. Choose Security settings, and enable two-factor authentication.

—On Twitter, go to account, settings and privacy, and click login verification.

—On Google and Microsoft, go to your account settings, click the security sections and choose 2-step.

You have multiple ways of receiving the code, but we suggest getting a text, as most of us have our phones by our sides all the time. 


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