Yahoo Hack Serves as Reminder To Change Passwords

Yahoo has been hacked -- again. News that the struggling internet company was breached back in 2013, and the personal information of more than one billion of its users was stolen, should serve as a reminder that everyone's email and personal information is vulnerable to hacking.

Safeguards you can take include creating strong passwords and changing them when you have to. Yes, all this is a pain, and it's not your fault that the tech industry hasn't been able to stem the rise in security breaches. But if you do nothing, you could be putting your personal or financial information -- or even your identity -- at risk.

What's a Good Password?

The more complicated and lengthy a password is, the harder it will be for hackers to guess.

Don't include your kids' names, birthdays or references to any other personal details. Hackers routinely troll Facebook and Twitter for clues to passwords like these. Obvious and default passwords such as "Password123" are also bad, as are words commonly found in dictionaries, as these are used in programs hackers have to automate guesses.

Long and random combinations of letters, numbers and other characters work best.

Your password reset questions should be as unique as possible too, and don't be tempted to recycle those either. This was some of the information stolen in the Yahoo hack. And with the help of social media, it's not hard for hackers to find those little personal tidbits like what your mother's maiden name is, or the name of your hometown.

Is It OK To Reuse Passwords?

No. Avoid using the same password for multiple sites, so that a break of your school's PTA site wouldn't lead hackers to your online banking account.

You can make things easier on yourself by using a password-manager service such as LastPass or DashLane. They remember complex passwords for...

Comments are closed.