We have some bad news. The Yahoo data breach of 2013 was more far-reaching than originally announced. According to Yahoo, all of its three billion user accounts were affected by the hack. The data breach exposed information like names, email addresses, hashed passwords, phone numbers, birthdays, and in some cases, “encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.” The information the hackers weren’t able to get include passwords in clear text and, thankfully, bank and credit card information linked to Yahoo accounts.
But now that this has been brought to light, it’s important to do a few things for some damage control from your end, especially if your Yahoo account is still active.
- Replace those passwords and security questions. It’s time to change those passwords and please DO NOT REUSE PASSWORDS. It’s also time to change up your preferred security questions and answers, even on other accounts, so hackers won’t be able to mine these out and gain access to your other online profiles.
- Be wary of phishing emails. Now’s the time hackers will take advantage of people looking to boost the security of their accounts. You might get legitimate-looking emails from Yahoo when they’re actually from baddies. Yahoo cautions users to not click any links on these emails. The company will not include links or attachments to their emails nor will they ask for personal information.
- Turn on two-step authentication. If you haven’t yet, now is the best time to do this. Enable this feature for all your accounts that offer it for that extra layer of security.
- Use Yahoo’s official help site for other issues. Yahoo employees will not be calling your home and ask you to pay a fee. If you need extra help for your account, you can get in touch with them through help.yahoo.com. All assistance will be conducted on the site.
- Watch your accounts. Pay attention to your online bank accounts and other email accounts, among all those sites that store your sensitive personal information. While these companies need to look out for you, you also must look out for yourself.