Newsletter Issue #881: What About Smoke Signals?

October 17th, 2016

Whenever I read about yet another hack of an email or credit card system, I wonder about the price of almost constant online access and what we have to give up when it comes expectations of privacy. It almost seems as if nothing is safe regardless of what you do.

So I wasn’t too surprised to read that some 500 million Yahoo email accounts have been hacked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Yahoo bothered to disclose the extent of this massive intrusion to the executives at Verizon who were doing their due diligence in advance of acquiring the company. Does that mean that Verizon is going to abandon this deal? Probably not, although they might demand some financial concessions.

Now as many of you know, I do have email accounts with a some of the larger fee services, and I quickly took the appropriate steps to protect my Yahoo account. I do notice that you can take advantage of two-factor authentication, which means that you need to authenticate with two systems to login. This may include a standard password — and one hopes it’s strong — and having the service send a text message to your mobile phone with an additional passcode. If you don’t successfully manage both tasks, you cannot connect to your account.

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