Adobe Chief Security Officer Brad Arkin started a blog post about the incident by explaining that “Cyber attacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today.” He’s right. No company, no matter how trusted or established, can guarantee that they won’t lose, abuse, or misuse people’s data. Data breaches happen all the time, and they always will.
But there’s a trick to beating data breaches: don’t give websites real personal information. Consumers using disposable, or masked, info instead won’t be screwed when the inevitable hack happens.
[Were you hacked but aren't using masked info yet? Check out the 4 things you should do right now to protect yourself.]
Masked emails, credit cards, and phone numbers work just like their real counterparts by forwarding messages, calls, and charges to a user, but websites never get that person’s true information. And websites can’t lose what they don’t have.
Adobe joins the ranks of a long and growing list of trusted companies that suffered big hacks, including Zappos, LinkedIn, Playstation Network, Zendesk, and Evernote. Consumers’ thought process shouldn’t be, “Will this website get hacked?” Instead, they should be thinking, “What info can I give this site that won’t hurt me when it gets hacked?”
Masked info is a win-win for consumers: you can live your online life like usual, and when (not if) you get hacked, the attackers get disposable info that’s useless to them. They can’t link it to your other accounts because it’s unique.
This premise is the driving force behind MaskMe, a privacy tool we launched in July that gives you easy access to disposable emails, credit cards, and phone numbers. Check it out, and stay one step ahead of the next big data breach.