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Yahoo Discloses Hack of 1 Billion Accounts

by Jeroen Barendse

Yahoo Hack Explained

According to an article on Techcrunch.com, Yahoo disclosed December 14th, 2016, that, "...it has discovered a breach of more than one billion user accounts that occurred in August 2013. The breach is believed to be separate and distinct from the theft of data from 500 million accounts that Yahoo reported this September."  NPR.org has reported that hackers have stolen the names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and security questions of more than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts.

How Does This Affect You?

Yahoo has already stated that they will notify users affected by the breach, but you should still beware of any suspicious looking messages, especially ones that prompt you to click on any links.  To check if your account has been hacked, go to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and enter your email address.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

First, you should change your Yahoo password immediately.  After you change your password, it is recommended that you update your Yahoo accounts security settings to turn on multi-factor authentication.  

Incidents like these illustrate the need for good password habits.  Good password habits include:

  • Changing your password(s) regularly
  • Using a unique passwords/security questions for different sitesh.  Express.co.uk recommends, "For example, take the first letter of each word in your favourite song lyric, phrase or poem – and use those letters, which appear like a random jumble, as your password."
  • Changing your security questions if they can be easily guessed.  For example, Facebook knows what high school you went to, knows your friends names and knows when you go out of town.  It is important when choosing security questions to ensure that the information you are using for your answers cannot be found readily available online.  To find out what the Internet knows about you, a quick Google search in incognito or private browsing mode can be quite illuminating.

Further Reading:

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/15/505658525/hackers-steal-more-account-information-from-yahoo-users

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/15/technology/yahoo-security-breach-billion-users/

https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/14/yahoo-discloses-hack-of-1-billion-accounts/