Is Your Email Provider The Skeleton Key Hackers Are After?

In the case of protecting your social network accounts, it’s not necessarily the individual networks that may be the weak link in the chain. When you think about the mechanism by which you log in to all of the different services and networks that you use on a daily basis, there is usually one common denominator – an email address.

Today you may have read the story of how Naoki Hiroshima was extorted into giving up his Twitter username worth $50,000 after an attacker had managed to change the account settings on his GoDaddy domains, which his personal email stemmed from. Without reprinting the whole story here, things went from bad to worse for Naoki before he eventually gave in to the demands in order to prevent complete disaster that would have befallen him if he’d lost control of his domains permanently.

It’s well worth reading the his blog, as it highlights some issues with PayPal and GoDaddy that you’d be well advised to familiarise yourself with if you use either service:

My $50,000 Twitter Username Was Stolen Thanks to PayPal and GoDaddy

Going back to the broader issue of using the same email address (and password) to log in to a variety of different services and networks, if that email becomes compromised, you could be in a lot of trouble. While there may be ways to prove to your email provider that your account has been hacked (many ask you to provide a second email address for just such eventualities), the turnaround period can leave plenty of time for the imposter to wreak havoc through your digital life.

Social networks, online shops and a plethora of other services usually have a ‘Forgot Your Password?’ button, which will send a password reset link to your registered email address. If you aren’t in control of that email address at the time, it would be very easy – as Naoki discovered – for an attacker to change the login details on your network or other accounts. So even when regain control of your email account, it may be too late to salvage the other parts of your online life.

At SocialSafe, we may not be able to help you with adding an extra layers of security to your networks or other online accounts, but we can help you to preserve your content should anything happen to the original networks. Use SocialSafe to download your Facebook Messages, photos, wall posts, updates, tweets, Instagrams and so much from your social networks, and store it on your own machine in your own personal data store. So whatever happens to your live accounts, your memories will be safe forever in your own personal library, that you control.

About Andrew Robertson

I'm Andrew, I work as the Social Media & Marketing Assistant at SocialSafe. I've been writing blogs on here for over two years now, so you'll find pieces from me about anything relating to social media and tech, as well as the changing face of personal data. There's also room for the occasional post on some slightly off topics stories... just for the sake of variety!!

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