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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

6 steps to protect yourself from the Yahoo email breach!

Last Thursday (09'22'16), Yahoo admitted to the largest email provider breach in history. The breach, which happened in 2014,  consisted of the account information of at least 500 million users and included names, email addresses, encrypted password and even security questions.   

 According to reports, as many as 2.1 million Rogers Communications customers could be affected, as Rogers uses Yahoo as their underlying email provider.

Even though the breach itself happened in 2014, We urge you to take the time to protect yourself from this event.  Since 2013, 360million MySpace accounts, 167 million LinkedIn accounts, And 145 million eBayaccounts have also been compromised.  

Human nature has us using the same or similar passwords across all of our various online sites, whether they be social media, retail, email, or banking.  Much as this is convenient, it opens us up to fraud and theft by these hackers. 


Take these six simple steps to protect yourself now:

 Change your online passwords now! 
  • Remember that length and complexity are the easiest protection.  Use at least 8 characters, and mix numbers and letters.
Use different passwords for your banking, email, and social media sites.
  • Hackers use automated tools to see if your stolen credentials work in thousands of other sites.
Enable 2-step verification.
  • Most online email, banking, and social media sites provide 2-step verification.  Ie: when you log onto a new device or from a new location, they will send you an SMS text message with a validation code before you can enter.  This protects you from having others logging in pretending to be you.
Enable transaction notification on your banking!
  • Online Banking sites have the option of sending you a text or email every time a transaction passes through your account. Turn this on!
Beware phishing attacks related to this breach.
  • Do not respond to, click on, or open emails and attachments that say they are going to help you with this breach.  A number of malicious attacks have already begun to lure innocent people into providing credentials based on the fear and uncertainty around this breach.   Your banks and email providers will NOT be sending messages related to this.
Finally, use a password management app to protect your online credentials.
  • Whether your preferred device is Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android, there are free apps out there that can help you organize and protect your online passwords.
  • Lastpass, 1password, and keepass are the most popular and cover a range of devices.