Bad news for Yahoo today. And over 1 Billion of it’s users – after the biggest breach boo boo in history.
A few months ago Internet Giant Yahoo announced that 500 Million user details had been compromised. But today, according to the BBC, Yahoo admitted ‘more than One Billion user accounts may have been affected in a hacking attack, dating back to 2013’.
In September 2016 Yahoo had revealed that 500 Million accounts had been accessed but in this latest news the increase in numbers is believed to be from a separate breach in 2014. According to Yahoo, names, phone numbers, passwords and email addresses were stolen – but not bank account and payment data.
This has already been dubbed by cyber security experts as ‘the largest data breach in history’ with the original theft of 500 million users information now doubling to one billion and demonstrating just how vulnerable even the worlds biggest technology and Internet companies are, against attacks of this kind.
What’s even more worrying is the sheer volume of personal information these companies hold on users.
What can you do if you’re a Yahoo User?
Seemingly Yahoo is contacting users, advising them to change passwords and upgrade their security but remember there are One. Billion. Users. Also there’s the concern that the correspondence from Yahoo is legit. So I wouldn’t be taking any chances. It’s our responsibility to minimize risk to ourselves. I would recommend changing passwords immediately.
Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do in order to help protect your personal information from being compromised. While it is impossible to completely protect yourself against being caught up in a cyber attack, getting into the habit of using basic security with your information will give you a level of protection. According to research by the Identity Theft Resource Center, over the past decade, there have been over 5,500 data breaches. Think about that, that’s 550 data breaches a year… or more than 1 a day.
Here’s what to do:
Be aware that security breaches can and do happen.
Pay attention to news reports from trusted media sources around these announcements. Be wary of emails you may receive from a provider asking you to update your personal information by clicking on a link. It’s possible that this is a phishing email so always carry out your own research before proceeding.
If you receive a report that a service which you use has been compromised, it’s important to update and change your password as well as updating your security questions.
Remember not to use the same password from all of your online logins. Research carried out by Ofcom as far back as 2013, found that ‘55% of them (users) used the same password for most – if not all! websites’. According to research this hasn’t changed that much. So – not only is it important to change your password for Yahoo, but now is a good time to update other accounts you use and your security information.
Use 2 step verification. This is also known as two-factor authentication which adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. Typically how it works is that you sign into your account with something you know (your password) and something you have (a code sent to your phone) Most if not all of the major platforms and services now offer this – so it’s a good idea to get it set up.
These are a few simple things which you can do as a user in order to help protect yourself and your personal information.
There is no doubt that cybercrime is on the increase. So stay vigilant. Just as you would take care of belongings in your house or car – take care of things on your devices. Ensure that you regularly update and change your passwords to help keep your accounts secure.
If you’d like more practical tips on how to protect yourself online and improve your Online Reputation grab a copy of my book..
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