Recent security breaches are once again raising the question of how secure our data is online. Earlier this year for example, over a quarter of a million Twitter accounts were comprised when passwords and usernames were stolen. A more recent high-profile example consisted of attacks from the political organisation ‘Syrian Electronic Army’, who hacked news organisations’ accounts such as the Financial Times and Associated Press (AP). These privacy and security concerns are increasingly causing both businesses and consumers to re-think, or outright reject, their online presence, reducing the amount of opportunities that they are exposed to.

In response to these attacks, Twitter recently announced that they were tightening their security process with two-phase authentication. Users will now be able to opt to have verification codes sent to their mobile phone during the login process, in an attempt to eliminate unwanted access. It is becoming apparent that all social networking sites need to follow in these footsteps, ensuring that the public are secure in the knowledge that their data is being kept private and secure.

Social networking is just a small area of concern within online data security. In the third era of modern computing that we are now in, known as ubiquitous computing, where computing devices are progressively being embedded into everything, improving online data security as a whole needs to be prioritised. A Financial Times article recently noted some risks that exist from more devices being connected to the Internet, such as the possibility that information collected could be accidently published online, and the raised number of hacking opportunities that are being created. Moreover, as ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) becomes ever more popular in the workplace, companies need to ensure that their corporate personal data remains secure on personal devices. As a result, it is clear that superior security practises need to be put in place.

Roseanna Fletcher


BBC, Twitter: Hackers target 250,000

BBC, Twitter tightens security after recent hacking spate

Financial Times, Cyber crime: Thinking fridges raise threat level

The Guardian, Bring your own device, Still the companies responsibility