Mat Honan's story and online safety

I'm sure most of you have heard the story of how Mat Honan had his accounts hacked and devices wiped, so I figured I'd come to the forums to discuss the topic. (If you haven't, the whole horrific tale of how his 'digital life' was destroyed is now posted over at

I really feel for Mat and cannot even fathom what it must be like to (possibly) lose such a large collection of photos of his young daughter and family, on top of all of the other issues. However, after closer examination, I realized that I am making some of the same mistakes he was.

As an iCloud and an Amazon user, I was alarmed at how easily my information could be accessed and messed with. I have since begun the process of more tightly securing my data and accounts.

Something the hacker told Mat in a conversation they had following the hacking really put me on edge:

I asked him why. Was I targeted specifically? Was this just to get to Gizmodo's Twitter account? No, Phobia said they hadn’t even been aware that my account was linked to Gizmodo’s, that the Gizmodo linkage was just gravy. He said the hack was simply a grab for my three-character Twitter handle. That’s all they wanted. They just wanted to take it, and fuck shit up, and watch it burn. It wasn’t personal.

"I honestly didn’t have any heat towards you before this. i just liked your username like I said before" he told me via Twitter Direct Message.

So, Verge users, I ask you this:

What methods do you use to keep your data safe and secure?

Is the current system of "email/username + password +security question/alternate email" secure enough for the cloud era we are living in/approaching?

How can we trust the companies that are funneling us into ecosystems that allow vulnerabilities like this to exist?