Question of the Week
Question: "I saw on the news this week that everyone's email was hacked and everyone's password was stolen. Is that true? And, if so, what should I do?"
Answer: Here's a quote from Reuters: The discovery of 272.3 million stolen accounts included a majority of users of Mail.ru, Russia's most popular email service, and smaller fractions of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft email users, said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security. (Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-passwords-idUSKCN0XV1I6)
The Reuters story above is what all the news outlets were announcing earlier this week.
The first thing to notice is that the majority of the hacked emails were accounts in Russia's most popular email service. There were, however, some Microsoft (Hotmail, Live, Outlook.com), Google (Gmail) and Yahoo accounts compromised.
If you have an email account with Microsoft, Google or Yahoo you should change your password. Also, you should update the alternate way you have listed to recover your email account should you ever be locked out. One of the problems we run into constantly is that people have old email addresses, they can no longer access, listed as their alternate email address. Or, they have old cell phone numbers listed. It's extremely important that the alternate information is up-to-date.
If you have security questions in your account, make sure you know the questions and the answers you gave. If you're not sure, change the questions and/or answers while you still have access to your account. Don't wait until your email account gets hacked!
Regardless of what email service you use, you should be changing your email password from time to time. Regarding your password, please make sure you are following the FBI method of creating passwords - the method we also teach. You can review that method by visiting our blog posting here:
The best way to stay ahead of a hacker is to: a) have good, strong passwords; b) don't use the same password for everything; c) don't store your passwords on your computer in a text document; and d) change your passwords every 6 months or even more frequently.