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#KemCents: iCloud Scandal is a Cautionary Tale

The iCloud scandal has put many female celebrities photos at risk, including Jill Scott.

Over the past weekend, many female celebrities’ personal accounts were hacked allegedly through Apple’s iCloud system.

From celebrities such as Kate Upton, Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian, all have had their personal risqué photos exposed to the world by the vulnerabilities we may all expose ourselves to each and every day.

Apple is denying that the breach was directly related to their systems; however, the company did discover certain celebrity accounts were compromised and hackers deliberately attempted to obtain correct passwords and security questions, according to the Associated Press.

As of now, it is not clear how the information was obtained. But this does teach us all that we are not exempt!

So how can we protect our information in a digital world? Follow these three tips:

1. Protect your passwords

We’ve all created that one “sticky” password we decide to use for every single account! Keep in mind, if one of your accounts is compromised, than this could result in other accounts being compromised as well.

Build stronger and difficult passwords. Using a combination of letters, characters, and numbers to reduces the chance of your account being compromise. Avoid using passwords of family members’ name, your pet, or any word that could be found in the dictionary.

2. Go the extra mile

If you have to use a cloud-sharing service, consider encrypting your data first. Encrypting data allows you to increase the security of your document by scrambling the information before storing. As a result, only the person who has an encryption key can read the information, thus providing an additional layer of security.

Also, consider using two-step verification for your accounts. This not only requires a password, but an identification code that can be emailed or text to you. This additional layer of security requires both your password and an additional passcode in order to access your account.

3. Reconsider

Before storing anything to the “cloud,” consider if there is another option. Think twice about storing information you may not want to share with the rest of the world. You may be better off using devices that are offline, such as external devices or computers that are not connected to the Internet.

Whatever storage service you decide, make certain you do your homework first. With so much data sharing storage services popping up here and there, question their level of security.

Remember, your choice, your future!

(iCloud image via Shutterstock)

About Kemberley Washington

Kemberley Washington bio pic

Kemberley Washington, CPA is a professor at Dillard University and writes a finance blog at Kemberley.com.  She is the author of The Ten Commandments to a Financial Healing. Follow her on Twitter @kemwashcpa or hashtag #kemcents.