I wish I knew then, what I know now, about the data vulnerabilities tied to technology. If I had known what a hot mess this would all be I would have never shopped online and operated on a cash only basis. Alas, that ship has sailed. Data and technology are inextricably tied together and have created a rich target for the skilled and committed cyber criminals who find their way past firewalls and encryption to steal data and cause financial mayhem.
I have received so many free credit monitoring offerings over the past four to five years based on my “secured data” being accessed that I have essentially had almost continuous monitoring. I have concluded that “secured data” is a fantasy. It was a delightful concept when folks talked about computers 30 years ago, but these days we know better. Every week we hear about some new threat or data breach.
The newest mega-threat is the Heartbleed Bug. I have already received a collection of emails from various companies advising me to change my password because their system is vulnerable or to rest assured that their system is not vulnerable. The Heartbleed Bug is after passwords and other data and a lot of sites are vulnerable. My credit union is one of the places that advised an immediate password change. I took care of that right away when I received the email as I do not want to be the infamous fool from the old saying – “A fool and her money are soon parted.” I was happy I did change it too when I went on the credit union’s online site this afternoon and discovered that it was compromised. I don’t know whether it was due to the Heartbleed Bug or due to some other technology genius, but I advised my credit union straight away that something was seriously amiss via a voice mail and email. Unfortunately, my credit union is closed over the weekend, so they may not realize that their site has been hijacked until Monday.
In the meantime, I remember the days when you had to physically go to the bank to transact business and you mailed checks to pay bills. There were security vulnerabilities then as well, but they were not quite as difficult to handle. Technology has us by the short hairs my friends and there really is no turning back. All we can do now is to be vigilant – we must watch all of our accounts and our credit reports for any evidence of fraudulent efforts.
Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da