A while back I signed up for Adobe's Creative Cloud, which gives access to all their programs like Photoshop and In Design for a monthly fee. The other day I got an alarming notice that I thought at first must be spam. It said that the Adobe system had been hacked and information about nearly three million Adobe customers had been stolen.
I checked to make sure this wasn't real...but it was.
Adobe's chief security officer said, ""Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders."
What can we do? It can be helfpul to:
* change your passwords periodically (use an app to help you remember them)
* get a credit card that has a limited amount of credit on it. With these kinds of cards you periodically pre-fund it to whatever level you want. For instance, you might put $100 or £100 on it. If somebody gets hold of the number and details and tries to charge $500 or £500, it won't work. However, using this kind of card for a recurring charge is a hassle because you have to be sure it always has at least that amount on it when the charge date comes up.
* if you become aware that the information may have been compromised, notify your credit card company. Some of them offer to email you periodically with an update of charges so you can notice any unauthorized activity more quickly.
* when a site offers to store your credit card information "to make ordering easier next time," decline.
The Adobe incident is a good reminder not to assume that information we provide will be safe even in the hands of a major company that presumably spends a lot of time and money trying to protect its systems.