It is the time of year that I look at my email and see what I can unsubscribe from. We all know that every online purchase these days comes with a recurring charge – junk mail, but it is no less annoying when we are left to pick through our inbox for the emails that matter. I know Gmail has a handy ‘promotions’ filter but even so, unwanted junk is a nuisance.
On the back of the massive Yahoo! Security leak that was revealed recently I have gone a step further than my usual new year routine. Usually, I will pick an email from last year and diligently follow through with the ‘Unsubscribe’ instructions but now I am actively closing my accounts with suppliers and services that I no longer use, furthermore I am stopping my usual action of opting to ‘create account’ whenever I buy something from a new online supplier. I am doing this to prevent my details getting leaked at some point in the future.
Corporate level Internet hacking has gotten to the point in the last few years that I question the safety of any password I create – no matter how convoluted and awkward to type that password may be. All our efforts to make our passwords super secure have been completely undermined by the security of the companies telling us to ‘create a secure account password’, prompting us to insert an upper-case letter and a number or whatever else.
It is the companies that we deal with online have become the target for hackers. From these sources, they can harvest our user data in quantities that people will pay big money for. 1 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked three years ago, they told us about it a couple of months ago, in that time there is every chance there has been a politician, movie star or sports star or two exploited on the back of the leak. More importantly, as the hacked content goes through the mill, once the cream has been skimmed off the top, ultimately, we will all be het for more bloody spam!