J. Colin Petersen says people like him– people working in I.T. and computer security– have been pointing fingers at Russian hackers for years.
“Yeah they set up huge shops and it’s like a job that you clock in to, and you go and do cyber crime. That’s what you do for a living.”
Petersen runs J – I.T. Outsource, a full-service I.T. Firm. He says recent accusations that Russian hackers targeted hundreds of millions of Yahoo e-mail accounts are not surprising.
Part of Petersen’s job is teaching clients how to better protect valuable information found in e-mail.
“Once I have access to your e-mail,” Petersen says, “I have access to your contact list. I have access to any bank transactions that may have transpired. I can reset passwords to other online entities.”
His number one tip for e-mail protection: better passwords.
Using the same password across multiple websites is a big no-no. So is using simple passwords. Your dog’s name followed by the number one is not good enough.
Petersen says your best bet is to just use three random words.
“Such as potato, clock, chicken,” Petersen says. “If those are easy to remember because they apply to your life, then don’t use them. But if they are three random words, and they are dictionary words, then those can be tougher to hack than a complicated password.”