Yahoo’s mega-breach made headlines again this week, as the company has now admitted that employees knew about the attack when it first happened. As you might recall, the company announced in September 2016 that an unknown attacker gained access to 500 million user accounts back in 2014. Yahoo users’ email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and passwords were compromised in the breach.
In a recent article examining Yahoo’s SEC filing, SC Magazine asked WatchGuard CTO, Corey Nachreiner, for a reaction to the company’s surprising admission:
“If indeed Yahoo knew about this breach earlier, and they realized it affected their customers’ account security, it would be very disappointing that they did not inform their customers to protect them. No business is expected to be invulnerable, but we should expect businesses to quickly inform their customers if any security incident affects their data or accounts, especially if it could help the customers protect themselves from repercussions.”
According to the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, legitimate user credentials are used in most data breaches, with nearly two-thirds of them using weak, default or stolen passwords. One of the ways that advanced warning from Yahoo would’ve helped users protect themselves would’ve been the prompt to quickly reexamine, change and improve the passwords of their online accounts. This massive data breach is another serious reminder that you can never be too careful when it comes to password security best practices.
So what can you do to better secure your online accounts and passwords?
- Create a unique password for each account; combining letters, numbers and symbols
- Change your passwords regularly
- Update the security questions for your accounts periodically
- Set up two factor authentication for your accounts
Trying to remember or file away the complex passwords for your many accounts is a daunting task. Rather than trusting your memory or papering your walls with password sticky notes (not recommended), consider adopting a password “vault” or manager.
For more information on the top password managers out there, check out: http://www.techspot.com/news/67001-top-password-managers-lock-down-security-online.html
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