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Mat Honan

Wired writer Mat Honan managed to do what countless security analysts' warnings couldn't: through his own personal story of being hacked, he got consumers to take proactive steps toward securing their online identities.

Wired writer Mat Honan Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired. Illustration: Ross Patton/Wired

A lot has been written about security online. But Wired writer Mat Honan's heartbreaking story about being hacked earlier this year resonated with people in a way no number of security analysts' warnings could.

Through a series of clever steps, a pair of hackers exploited holes in Apple's and Amazon's security policies, gaining control of Honan's Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple accounts. They eventually took control of his MacBook, wiping it clean of all of his documents, e-mails, and every photo he'd taken since the birth of his daughter.

Amazon immediately made changes to its security policy after his story was published, and Apple said it would investigate the soundness of its policies. But the primary lesson was that consumers should turn on two-factor authentication to online accounts wherever possible.

If you haven't read his story yet, do it now. Then do yourself a favor and take a good look at the security precautions you've taken online before you have the same regrets he does.

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