By Ayesha Ulhaq
By Ayesha Ulhaq
Fez – A huge data breach has affected one billion Yahoo user accounts. Personal information such as names, numbers, encrypted passwords and security questions have been compromised.
This breach dates back to September 2013 where previously, 500 million user accounts were hacked. Yahoo is now taking extra precautions which were not taken previously. In 2013 an analysis of law enforcement data files found that an unnamed third party were in possession of Yahoo information.
Sophos Senior Security Advisor, John Shier has commented: “Being aware of any data breach is important because many people use the same password for multiple accounts. Even data breaches from several years ago could still impact you today.”
Sophos have provided six steps to advise all Yahoo users in order to protect their data and prevent any data breach:
- Users need to be fully aware of phishing scams that are sent via emails which leads users to click on URLS with viruses and malware. This is crucial as personally identifiable information (PPII) is at risk due to this breach.
- Users must change their Yahoo password and security questions as soon as possible on all accounts (especially if the same ones are used across different accounts). It is best that users use different passwords and security answers for all accounts.
- Users should take extra caution when creating passwords, making them difficult to guess as cybercriminals are able to use tools to hack passwords.
- This includes using both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols – referring to the Sophos ‘How to Pick a Proper Password’ video can help create stronger passwords.
- Be aware that password strength meters are untrustworthy and inaccurate therefore users should not abide by this as an indicator of password strength.
- Most importantly, users should regularly change and update passwords, password managers and security questions especially if there is news on potential data breach.