A Not So Happy Password Day

Yesterday on the news it was reported that a Russian Hacker stole 272 million usernames and passwords to Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo email accounts? I got a call from a concerned client so I researched it and emailed all my clients instructions on what to do.

My goal is always to make techie things as simple and easy as possible, so here are the few simple things you need to know.

If you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail, you should change your password.  You may not be at risk but do it just to be sure. Even if you use a different email service, you should make sure you have a strong password and that you haven’t used it for more than one account. Bear in mind that you are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting all the people in your address book.  If criminals get into your account, they can send damaging emails to all your contacts.

  1. Make sure your password has 12 characters minimum.

  2. Include numbers, symbols, capital letters and lowercase letters.

  3. Don’t use dictionary words.

  4. Add 2-Step verification — an extra layer of security requiring a code from your mobile device.

  5. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.

I know this seems like a big pain but it doesn’t have to be.  The easiest way to manage passwords is to use a password manager like Last Pass and it’s free!  For details See my Techie Tip about this here.

Apple products come with a password manager called Keychain.  Antivirus software programs, like Norton and McAfee, include a password manager.  A password manager can create super secure, unique passwords for all your accounts and you only need to remember one Master Password of your choice!

If you need help to change the passwords in your accounts or want to learn how to use a password manager like LastPass, just call for an appointment.  Let’s put this niggling password nuisance to rest once and for all so you can more fully enjoy your techie tools.

I hope you will forward this post.  Not only can it help your friends be safe, but it can prevent hackers from getting into their accounts and sending you dangerous emails. Working together, we can stop this!

Oh, and “A belated Happy National Password Day”!  How ironic that this story hit the news when it did.  If you want the full news story Click here



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