There has been yet another huge data breach. This breach consists of over 270 million email accounts that were stolen by a hacker. This includes 40 million Yahoo accounts, 33 million Hotmail/outlook.com/Microsoft accounts, 24 million GMail/Google accounts and 54 million email accounts for the Russian email provider known as Mail.ru. All of these accounts are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld.
A security firm known as Hold Security was able to reclaim the data from the hacker that carried out the data breach. A little less than two weeks ago they have returned the stolen information to the companies.
As much as I hate to say it, but I would strongly urge you to change your passwords right now.
Now you might be thinking “Adi, why does this matter? Why should I care?” Well, think about the kind of stuff that you have stored on your emails. Additionally think about the places that require your email address for you to log in online. This includes your amazon shopping, ebay, some bank accounts and so much more. We don’t know if the hackers in question have the password for your email. If they do then they have access to your Dropbox, Amazon, eBay and they can use those accounts to basically steal your money and your credit card details. Most important of all we don’t know what else could be in this huge repository of information.
Another thing to think about is that you should use a different password on every account that you sign up for. For example, the password for your Gmail account should be different to the password for your amazon account. So if you have been using the same password for your email as some of the other sites that you use then you might want to go and change those. Last but not least you might want to enable two-step verification/two-factor authentication.
Before I wrote this article I spent the better part of half an hour going through my email accounts and changing the passwords on all of them.
I know that it’s going to be a pain for you to do this but if you want to keep your accounts safe then this is something that you must do.