The first thing I did was to see if I could log into this account. I still remembered the password. I logged in and Yahoo had already flagged the account as potentially being hacked. I then proceeded to change my password which is the first thing to do once you discover your account has been hacked. The password I had used previous was a strong one when I set up my account but not so strong by today’s standards.
While nothing is 100% guaranteed as we have seen from the Target, Neiman Marcus and other breaches here are a few takeaways for all of you to make it less likely your accounts will be hacked:
1. For those accounts that offer it use two-factor authentication (this inactive Yahoo account has since been set up for two-factor authentication). My main email account was set up a while back with two-factor authentication. When I log in from an unfamiliar computer, a code is also sent to my phone that I need to input in addition to my password.
2. Have your smartphone password protected. I have seen people who do not password protect their smartphone. If it is lost or stolen, the person in possession of your phone has complete access to your accounts on it as well as other information about you.
3. Use a smart password. Click here
4. Be safe if using a public wireless network and/or a public computer. Click to learn more
5. At home, don't keep your passwords where everyone can see them. Click here
6. Regarding the security question you answer; keep your answer in a safe place and the question you answer should not be well known. When Sarah Palin ran for vice-president, her account got hacked because the question was about her mother's maiden name. The hacker was able to get this information and hack into her account by answering the security question. Sarah Palin could have answered this question by using a grandmother's maiden name or her mother-in-law's maiden name.
As I said earlier, nothing is 100% guaranteed you can take steps to get closer to that goal. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If you have additional questions about being safe while online or other computer problems, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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