What you need to know about the massive Yahoo Data Breach.
Recently, there was an announcement that a Yahoo hack occurred in August 2013, affecting 3 billion service users. It is considered the largest hacking in Internet history.
The attack was first reported in 2013. But the numbers keep adding up.
At that time, the reports said the number of users affected was 1 billion. It was not until Oct 3, 2017, that Yahoo updated the story to include every user. Yes, every single user, ever, period. All 3 billion.
While the attack comes as a surprise to most, the good news is that Yahoo seems to have taken a proactive approach. The company has contacted law enforcement agencies and is currently working with a cybersecurity firm to determine the exact nature of the attack.
The details remain murky, but the company is taking action to address the problem. How was yahoo hacked? This is a question Yahoo and the FBI are still investigating.
How do I know if my Yahoo account was hacked?
The original reports of the attack suggested only names, email addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates were stolen during the hack. Also, hashed passwords and security questions and answers were taken.
While that might cause alarm, the good news is that your credit card and bank information looks safe.
You Most Likely Have Been Affected
As stated, Yahoo announced 3 billion users were affected. As if that number was not enough to raise eyebrows, that means almost every user was included.
Moreover, don’t forget, Yahoo was not the only company involved. If you have an account with any of Yahoo’s associated companies, it is likely your account was breached. This includes Flickr and Tumblr users.
The good news is that Yahoo has already addressed the problem. In addition to forcing password resets, the company already contacted users affected.
That means you should have received a notice from Yahoo in an email alerting you to the situation.
This is nothing New for Yahoo
Anyone who has ever created a user account online knows the threat of data breaches always looms. While this latest one is the biggest ever, it is hardly a singular case.
Yahoo already mentioned another breach back in 2014. That was the second largest data breach in Internet history.
At that time, the Yahoo breach was said to have affected 500 million users. Similar information was stolen, such as phone numbers and email addresses.
Sad as it may be, this is hardly new. Data breaches have become a common occurrence, and no company seems to be safe.
Equifax, the popular credit score site, announced a similar breach last summer. 143 million users were affected. In that instance, credit card information was stolen along with private user information.
What Can You Do About It?
While the Yahoo hack may cause some concern, you do not have to sit back and do nothing about it.
Here are some tips in case you are still concerned.
- Change Passwords
- Consider all Associated Accounts
- Look for Suspicious Activity
- Use Different Passwords on different platforms
- Enable 2 step authentication
More details are included below.
Change Your Password ASAP
Yahoo already forced users to reset passwords after the first announcement. However, it never hurts to go back and change it again if you are anxious.
Remember to create something unique that combines a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, don’t include personal information that may be easy to guess.
Consider Associated Accounts
While the breach was under Yahoo, remember that associated companies could have been affected. Besides your Yahoo account, you will want to reset passwords for Flickr and Tumblr.
One technique hackers use taking passwords form one system and trying them against multiple other platforms. They then routinely repeat this for easy access to accounts.
Don’t fall victim. Heck, I have an SEO EXPERT BRAD Tumblr account I just remembered.
Look for Suspicious Activity
A primary goal of the Yahoo hacked accounts was spamming, which is why you should be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Keep an eye on your social media.
Routinely check emails for any questionable content. If something seems suspicious, it probably is.
That includes misspelled words, unsolicited requests for personal information, or attachments that may contain malware.
The bottom line is always look out for suspicious activity.
Protect Yourself From Future Attacks
Now that you have all the significant information about the Yahoo hacked accounts consider taking steps to protect against future attacks.
Use Different Passwords
The big takeaway here is that no company is completely safe against hacks, even negative SEO happens.
While you may enjoy using a similar password for multiple accounts, this can often be a reason for concern. This is especially true if using different accounts from companies under one parent, such as Yahoo.
To ensure hackers can not access to private information, use different passwords for different accounts. Never rely on one unique password for every site because this is an easy way for hackers to gain access.
If you have trouble remembering passwords, keep them somewhere safe and out of reach. That way your accounts are protected.
Enable 2-Step Authentication Protection
2-Step Authentication is an extra layer of protection that requires users to submit another piece of private information along with password and username.
This can include associated user emails or phone numbers.
Yahoo, in fact, has their 2-step authentication process.
You can go to yahoo.com and set up the protection within minutes.
Be sure to follow their direction and include a mobile number you keep on you.
Yahoo accounts hacked list
Decide If You Want to Stay With Yahoo After This Security Breach
Only you can decide how trustworthy a company is. While Yahoo is hardly alone in having accounts hacked, this does not mean you have to stay with them.
Ask yourself how much trust you have and if you need their services. Remember, Yahoo is one of many email providers. Consider moving to a different one if the latest breach has created a cause for concern.