A security research firm discovered that there’s an anonymous database containing more than 560 million passwords. The database is accessible on the Dark Web, and it is a compilation of information exposed by all major leaks over the last five years. It includes stolen account information from security breaches of LinkedIn, DropBox, LastFM, MySpace, Adobe, Neopets, Tumblr, Yahoo, etc. It contains more than 240 million unique email addresses. The leak consists of various sources of personal information such as emails, passwords, physical addresses, usernames, website activity, password hints, IP addresses and full names.esta
Have you been affected?
The best way to check if your details have been compromised is by visiting ‘Have I been Pwned.’ The site hides your private information but gives you a hint if your email has ever been compromised in a known data breach.
Even if you are not pwned, there are a few things we recommend you to do before you continue with your day;
Change your password
If you’ve followed our suggestions and changed your passwords frequently, you should not worry. The database contains passwords and information from data breaches that happened years ago. However, if you’ve been pwned and you haven’t changed your passwords lately now is a good time to do so.
Create new password hints
Please note that passwords are not the only sensitive information that has been exposed. We strongly recommend you to change your password hints and security questions and answers. Better safe than sorry!
Do not use the same password
Data breaches happen and no one, including tech giants such as Yahoo, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Google is insured against cyber threats. It is vital not to use the same password over and over again. You may be tempted to do so as it is easier to remember, but once one of these tech giants lose a battle with the hackers, your end up being the collateral damage as your personal information usually end up in the wrong hands.
Use a Password Manager
There are great security solutions that offer a larger degree of protection and include a password manager… all you need is a master password to access all of your favourite internet services. This way, you will only have to remember one password and, as you don’t have to memorize all of them, you can set different, more complex passwords for each service. It maintains your online privacy… at all times!
I like LastPass.
Keep your guard up
Experts suggest an average person should change their passwords at least once every three months. Add a quarterly reminder to your calendar to spend 30 minutes changing your login details. It’s a total of 2 hours per year! If you can’t find time, next time just skip watching that Adam Sandler movie you’ve been thinking about.
Install anti-virus software
The ransomware attack earlier this week affected more than 200,000 people from all over the world. It is a well-known fact that damages caused by cyber attacks cost more than a billion US dollars per year. And now information about 240 million email addresses is up for grabs on the dark web. It’s time to get antivirus software installed on your cell phone, PC, Mac, and tablet.
The database contains information gathered from previous leaks, so there is no immediate danger. However, this is yet another reminder of the importance of having your personal information safe. To be protected is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.