If you use any of the popular email services, it’s quite possible that your email and password are in someone else’s hands currently. We all know nothing is completely secure, as there is always a loop hole somewhere. The best we could actually do is protect ourselves the best way we can. Not too long ago, login details for about 272.3 million accounts were uncovered by Alex Holden CISO at Holden Security who got them from the hacker who was allegedly selling each one for about $1 – surprised? Well you’re not alone.
For a hack like this, you would expect something more substantial; but on the flip side, $272.3 million is a whole lot of money! What is more unsettling is the fact that the hacker turned this data over to Alex in return for “favorable online comments”; though it has not been confirmed if money changed hands between Alex and the hacker or not. Now for the numbers:
The main victims were users of the mail.ru service; but, many Gmail and Yahoo users were also affected. According to them, their leak was not substantial – I’ll let you be the judge of that.
40 million unique Yahoo emails, 33 million hotmail accounts and 24 million Gmail account were allegedly compromised
Even more troubling is the fact that the method used in getting these sensitive information is unknown; and we all know you can only fight what you can see. In other words, if these email providers do not know what backdoor the hacker used, how the hell are they going to shut it?!
If you are concerned about your own security, I suggest you follow these steps:
- Create a new password ASAP. Preferably a strong alphanumeric password – it means consisting of numbers(upper and lowercase for optimum results), letters and symbols. An example could be Ju$tna1ra – which you could remember as Justnaira.
- Enable two step verification for email services that offer it. I’m sure Gmail does. This way, you’ll have to provide another form of identification when accessing your account. This could range from a randomly generated code that you input whenever you login to you logging it with a particular device.
- Avoid using the same password for multiple services. If you cannot avoid this, a password manager could help you keep track of all of them – you’ll be good if they don’t spy on you or get hacked themselves.
- Make sure you follow these step for your main email and also backup email addresses.