Recently, a slew of security breaches were reported in mainstream and online media, of famous (and less famous) entities getting their online identities and web properties maliciously intruded upon. Should we sit up? You bet.

One of the former contributing editors at WIRED magazine (one of the best magazines) and former journalist at Gizmodo, Mat Honan, found out that someone intruded into his iCloud account, and his Twitter accounts. According to Mat, his password was a long string password that he did not use anywhere else. Not long after, his MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone were all remote-wiped by the intruder and he lost much of the data on those devices. According to Mat, he found out that the intruder called Apple Tech Support and with social engineering, persuaded the Apple staff that he was Mat Honan.

Closer to home, a woman received a call claiming to be from a well-known software company, and told her that her computer was being hacked by some intruders, and that she needed to procure a security license. She gave her credit card details, and S$1,300 was stolen from her credit card account.

The Woz, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, was recently interviewed on cloud computing. I have written about my concerns of the cloud and data stored on the cloud before, and concur with Woz’s comments in the news as well, that “bad things” may happen in the next few years. After all, we all prefer to hang on to important things in our lives, rather than completely trust and relegate authority to a third-party (most, if not all of whom we have no personal relationship with at all).

Never divulge your personal details to anyone on the phone or through email. If it is something important (say from the government), the remote party will go through legal and secured means to try to reach you. You owe it to yourself to protect all the sensitive information and assets you have.