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What We Can Learn from Yahoo’s Latest Hack – Plus IT Security Tips for 2017

By Lauren Zdanis | Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

With the holidays around the corner, people are using their email more than ever to book flights, order gifts, check shipping statuses and more. But what do you do when your privacy and personal information is taken and exposed? Last week, Yahoo disclosed that a minimum of 1 billion accounts were hacked back in 2013 – and that the incident is separate from a similar hack in 2014 announced just three months ago.

The most recently announced attack exposed user information including names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords, and unencrypted security questions. Since the breach became known, Yahoo has prompted all affected users to change their passwords and is invalidating unencrypted security questions.

Unfortunately, users are feeling pretty discouraged about the safety of their personal information amidst these seemingly frequent security breaches. In the last two years alone, this is the third security breach Yahoo has experienced. While the reality is that Yahoo is not the only target of Internet hackers, its users are understandably concerned about how the company is adapting to industry security standards. While we’ve yet to see if this latest breach will have an effect on Yahoo’s potential $4.85bn sale to Verizon, in the meantime, Yahoo users should be taking matters into their own hands. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to close your Yahoo account. But it does mean that you need to practice smart IT security going into 2017.

Since many Internet users make the mistake of reusing the same password for more than one site, Yahoo customers should take steps to update all passwords, in an effort to prevent hackers from having an easier time gaining access to sensitive information.

Below are best practice reminders for secure password management and smart IT security in 2017:

  • Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. Utilize strong, unique passwords across all accounts using a combination of letters, numbers, capitals and special characters.

  • Make sure to change your password often, and set reminders if you are not prompted to change it at least every 90 days.

  • Make your passwords long. They might be tougher to remember, but many sites now have a length requirement to ensure your account is more secure.

Want to learn more about IT security best practices? Read these articles.

Dos and Don'ts for IT Security

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