Has YOUR Password Been Hacked?
3 quick things to do right now to protect yourself
Unfortunately, cyber attacks are now commonplace and frequent, and protecting yourself before they happen to you must become a priority. In this article, we'll share 3 quick and simple things to do right now to protect yourself.
In case you believe "I'm safe - this won't happen to me," we recommend you think again. We do just about everything right, yet some of our information has been stolen twice (that we know about).
This did NOT happen because we made any errors. It's because very well regarded organizations that have some of our data experienced security breaches.
LivingSocial: 50 million users at risk
The latest victim is LivingSocial, a daily deals Groupon competitor. This past Friday about 50 million users became vulnerable from just this one cyber attack.
The thieves gained access to more than 50 million customer names, email addresses, birth dates and encrypted passwords. Fortunately, no customer credit cards or merchant financial information were compromised.
You can read more about the LivingSocial attack here:
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the total number of records containing sensitive personal information involved in security breaches in the U.S. was 607,610,646 in 3,704 data breaches since January 2005.
If your information hasn't yet been stolen, there is a good chance it will be in the future. We don't want to scare you (and we're usually optimists), but facts are facts. So we highly recommend you follow the simple advice below before you become a victim of a cyber attack or security breach.
3 simple things you can do to protect yourself
1. Use a Password Manager. Simply put, everyone who uses the Internet needs to use a Password Manager. The days are long gone when you could simply remember one password that you used on all the different sites you visited.
Most of us are now using so many different password-protected sites it's become virtually impossible to create and remember different codes for each one -- and today it's very important to have a different password for each secure site.
If you aren't already, we highly recommend you start using a dedicated password manager that will not only safely store all your passwords, but will also generate random patterns of letters, numbers and symbols and even update them regularly.
Then, all you have to do is create and remember one extremely difficult master password!
There are a number of both free and paid-for password managers, the most popular being LastPass, iKeepass for iPad, iKeepass for iPhone, 1Password and RoboForm. We personally use iKeePass and 1Password, but you can do your own research according to your needs.
2. Subscribe to Scambusters.org. This is a shameless plug since we have been publishing Scambusters.org as a public service since 1994. We've learned that scammers are very cunning, and being smart is NOT enough to protect yourself from Internet scams, security breaches and identity theft.
We publish a free email newsletter that is widely recognized as the leading publication on Internet fraud. You can subscribe free here:
3. Consider being proactive to protect yourself from identity theft. Identity theft has topped our list of Internet scams since we started publishing our Top 10 List of Internet Scams in 2001. Here are two resources to help you be proactive:
- You'll find lots of valuable and free information at our Identity Theft Information Center:
- Consider investing in this easy, step-by-step blueprint: Identity Theft Deterrent. The Identity Theft Deterrent gives the exact steps you need to take to make sure you don't become a victim. It shows you how criminals get the information they need to steal identities... so you can bolt the door firmly shut and keep them out.
What to do if your information is stolen in a security breach
If you do become a victim of a security breach, here are some safety steps you can take:
It's not hard to protect yourself and it's very important. So invest a few minutes to take the steps we've recommended.
Please let us know your questions and tell us what you're going to do to protect yourself in the Comments area below.