Why didn’t we know earlier?

By | Category: Travel news

Yesterday’s announcement by easyJet that nine million customer records had been hacked is a reminder to us that we need to be cautious about our own personal information.

easyjet
Change any passwords you have with easyJet

Why?

Because if a big company like easyJet with who knows how many staff devoted to I.T. and security, can still be successfully hacked what chance have we?. Individuals without the resources to ability to set up layers of security have to rely on the companies with whom they deal.

As well as easyJet, BA and Cathay have all been hacked in the last couple of years as has the Marriott hotel group and dozens of other companies in all sorts of industries.

As individuals we are told to change our passwords yet so many transactions are carried out online that maintaining individual passwords is difficult. I think (I don’t really know because there are websites I haven’t looked at for years and they might have passwords as well) I have seventeen different passwords and they are used across a range of sites. I can’t remember them all so they are held by a supplier who I trust to keep them safe

But that trust extends not just to that site but with each of the individual sites and of those partner sites that can access my data in order for a transaction to be completed.

In dealing with easyJet, for example, I allow access to my details to all those companies connected to what I have purchased such as  payment processing companies, hotels, car hire  and those offering attractions..

Whilst it behoves all of us to be especially careful, that big companies can be hacked with such regularity is a little worrying.  

On its website, easyJet gives no date on when it found it had been hacked. It has informed the Information Commissioner but the suggestion is that individuals other than those where credit card details have been hacked have yet to be told.

The BBC on Tuesday suggested the hack was in January and notified some customer in April. Why did it take two months is a question that senior management, the regulator and the Information Commissioner should be asking.

It also appears that the hack began last October and hackers had the hack was spotted. It appears that whatever systems easyJet had in place were unable to spot the hack for some months.

That this hack wasn’t leaked to the press earlier shows that the airline can keep a secret – it just can’t keep our data secret.

For easyJet customers, it is time to take additional precautions. Don’t follow links in any easyJet mailing you receive but go to their website directly to check first. Some crooks will be using this data for months to try and get you to reveal thigs about yourselves.

Change your password. And when you receive instructions that a password should be eight characters or more don’t settle for eight but make it longer as that could make it more difficult for crooks.

Above all be vigilant because some companies that have our data don’t seem to be!

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