Protecting yourself from data breaches
‘Have I been pwned’, a web site which keeps tabs on data breaches has just released the following information to subscribers of its service:
‘In January 2019, a large collection of credential stuffing lists (combinations of email addresses and passwords used to hijack accounts on other services) was discovered being distributed on a popular hacking forum. The data contained almost 2.7 billion records including 773 million unique email addresses alongside passwords those addresses had used on other breached services.’
If you subscribe to this service and you have received an email what should you do? We all know that having to use a password for online services is one of the chores of our modern day life. Why do I need to have different password for each site and have to renew them constantly? Your online security is very important therefore it makes sense to manage your passwords.
This breach in the report was on a Gmail account that has been set up with 2 factor authentication, which is less concerning. Setting up 2 factor authentication is great way of increasing security, always use it if you have this option. As a precaution we change passwords and store them in a password manager. We use LastPass to manage and remember passwords, there are a number of password managers out there such as LastPass and Dashlane, but overall LastPass works better for us.
What to look for in a password manager:
Essentially a password manager keeps all your passwords safe under one master password in a vault and should have a number of other features.
We all suffer from the same problem, we are not able to make up a long and secure enough password to keep hackers at bay, we have a suggestion, let the password manager do this for you.
Autofill and auto login
Use your master password and allow the password manager to log you into your web sites and email.
Two factor authentication
A must as far as we are concerned. If someone tries to change your password you will receive notifications that ask you to confirm that you requested this. This is usually by text to your mobile phone or can be by email if you have set up a recovery email address.
A breach of security is a massive inconvenience but the risk of the breach can be limited by some simple steps and the use of some clever software.
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