I wrote yesterday about the complete hacking experienced by Mat Honan, who is a Wired technology reporter.  The escalating damage began, as he reported, when the hackers gained access to Mr. Honan’s Amazon account and got the last four digits of the credit card linked to his Amazon account.

Without commenting on the hacking, Amazon moved fast to correct the security hole.  How fast?  The hacking happened on August 3rd, Mr. Honan’s Wired article appeared on August 6th and yesterday Amazon issued new guidance to its customer service support staff that will hopefully help prevent similar unauthorized access in the future.

As reported by Nathan Olivarez-Giles (www.wired.com, “Amazon Quietly Closes Security Hole After Journalist’s Devastating Hack”), Amazon will no longer let people have access to Amazon accounts over the phone using only a name, email address and mailing address.  As Mr. Olivarez-Giles and Mr. Honan noted in their respective articles, those 3 pieces of personal information can be easily found on the Internet for many of us.  Mr. Olivarez-Giles wrote that Amazon will no longer allow people to call in and change account settings (e.g., credit card numbers or email addresses associated with the user accounts).

Protecting ourselves online from hackers is requiring more and more diligence by all of us.  Kim Zetter posted an excellent article yesterday, also on Wired, that pulls together some of the top tips and steps that we can all follow to do so.  Her article is titled “How Not to Become Mat Honan: A Short Primer on Online Security”.  It’s well written and clearly describes the steps to be taken.  I encourage everyone to read it.