Dropbox, one of the world’s biggest file hosting services, is asking users who opened accounts before 2012 to update their login details, especially passwords as soon as possible. The message was conveyed to all users affected through an email the company sent out.
I guess sending emails is a nice touch instead of expecting people to read of the notification on the blog post or when a user tries to access their account.
According to Dropbox, this is purely a preventive measure. That is, users should not panic into thinking Dropbox users’destails have being hacked.
I can imagine that the number of users who would be in panic mode would run into hundred of millions.
As of this year, the service which was formed 9 years ago, now has about 500 million accounts. That is not bad for a company that has to compete against other bigger tech firms that offer cloud storage services.
I think the success of Dropbox can be traced to the simple user interface. It is so simple to use and very secure at the same time.
A proactive message such as this would always ignite fear in users. These fear is not unfounded considering 2016 is one year I can confidently tag ‘the year of the hackers.’
Hackers were so prominent in their activities this year that the news was about who the next big name, internet service, or software would be hacked next.
It was the year that saw the emergence of a hacking group known as OurMine who specialized in hacking the social accounts of the high and mighty.
While Dropbox is saying this is just a preventive measure, the blog post made reference to some user accounts obtained illegally in 2012.
These details were obtained from other websites and used to send messages to Dropbox account holders emails. that is, the email linked to their Dropbox account.
In effect, it wasn’t that Dropbox was hacked back in 2012, but just the emails used for getting a Dropbox account were somehow obtained illegally.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to use the same username and password for all their online account in the believe it would makes things easier for them to remember.
Like we emphasized some time ago in this post, the drawback of that attitude is the likely hood of opening up yourself to been easily hacked.
There are several ways you can secure your online accounts to make it hard for hackers to breach. One of the best method is the two-step authentication where your mobile phone is part of the security of your accounts.
Even Dropbox provided a link on their blog post on how to go about the two-step authentication method.
If you fall in the category of those who need to change their passwords on Dropbox, make sure to take advantage of the ways you can use to secure you online account.
And while you are at it, make sure your Dropbox username is not similar to other online accounts. If it is, do yourself a favor and change it.
It is just a few minutes bother that would save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Meanwhile Dropbox is always on hand with resources to help your out. Hear them:
We have dedicated security teams that work to protect our services and monitor for compromises, abuse, and suspicious activity. We’ve implemented a broad set of controls including independent security audits and certifications, threat intelligence, and bug bounties for ethical hackers. In addition, we build open source tools such as zxcvbn, use bcrypt password hashing, and offer Universal 2nd Factor authentication to all users.
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