hacks of yahoo

Yahoo Hacks: Everything You Need to Know

During December last year, there was an announcement by Yahoo that there was a huge data breach which was so big and worrying for so many Yahoo users considering the number of people affected by the breach and the sensitive nature of the information that was leaked.Some say that it was a disaster – hacked emails and passwords lead to financial and psychological issues. 

 

So, if you have not heard of that breach by now, here is what you should know.

Over 1 Billion Users Affected

As reported by Yahoo, the hackers stole information of over 1 billion account holders in August 2013. Yes, I know, I was also surprised to learn that it actually happened in 2013 and not in 2016 when Yahoo was reporting it.

Leakage of Sensitive Information

Yahoo was quoted saying, “The stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.” That was the magnitude of the breach.

Luckily, the breach did not get access to users’ credit card number or bank accounts but seeing that they acquired the user’s date of birth, telephone numbers, and email addresses, the bare minimum needed to be used in identity theft and phishing scams.

Top of the list on the leakage was the fact that the hackers may have accessed information that was related to national security at risk. They might have exposed over 150, 000 United States of America government and military officials which included the FBI, the CIA, White House officials and many others who work with very sensitive information on a daily basis.

These officials found themselves in this dilemma because they gave their work email as backup emails in Yahoo in case a lockout ever happened.

 

How Do You Know if You Are Hacked?

When a hack of such magnitude happens, the company hacked is required to reach out to its users to warm them and that is exactly what Yahoo has been doing.

“We are notifying potentially affected users and posting additional information on our website. Additionally, we are taking steps to secure users’ accounts, including requiring users to change their passwords. Yahoo has also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers to that they cannot be used to access an account,” Yahoo was quoted saying on the measures they are taking to salvage the whole thing.

It is advised not to assume an alert like this one, does not matter whether you use it all the time or not. If requested to change the password, the security questions or any other information pertaining to your Yahoo account, you should comply.

Actively Protect Yourself from Scammer

If you have been hacked, it is advisable to be on guard and ever vigilant to protect your accounts. If a message is sent to you, it will not ask you to click on a link or to download an attachment. Furthermore, your financial institution should not ask you to give your PINs, account numbers, passwords and other information via the email. If so, just know that you have been sent a shady email and you should delete it.

The “actively protecting” yourself part comes in whereby you will be required to create secure passwords and it will need you to regularly change those passwords. Always call and confirm with the company if you suspect an email or a call that has been directed to you.

One cannot stress enough the fact that you are NOT to give your personal information to strangers more so via emails.

Below are some measures you can take to at least try and protect yourself.

Change Your Passwords

For you to protect yourself, you should change your passwords to all your accounts, not only Yahoo’s, and you should do it now. When doing so, you should avoid the loopholes of using commonly used passwords like 12345, 0000, QWERTY and other stupid and very easy to hack passwords.

Make sure that your password is strong by endeavoring to combine letters, numbers, characters (if allowed) and the caps.

The changing of passwords should happen to all your accounts. And you will have to review the security questions in Yahoo as the other ones have been compromised.

Make Use of Two Factor Authentication

If you do not have the two-factor authentication feature, there is a high possibility that anyone who has your password can have access to your account. Using one password for multiple sites will make it even easier for cyber criminals to get access to most of your accounts.

Enable your two-factor authentication and you will have a little bit of security while logging into Yahoo and other sites.

Treat Strange Emails with Caution

If you receive a strange email, email that you good and well know you do not have any connection to, you need to be extra careful with them. This is whereby phishing scams have their prime time to use that opportunity to get some answers for questions left blank.

And do not be surprised, those emails are getting more sophisticated. They will lure you to click on links, download attachments or ask you to give away personal information.

Yahoo has been working day and night to rectify the damage done, both to its users and to its image. A company that has been facing a lot of strife, Yahoo will need to recuperate from such a blow and hopefully come up with something that will impress its users.

Until that time, protect your personal information vigorously and if you see any email prompting you to give your information, delete it immediately.

 

Google and Privacy: How Much Do They Know About You?

How to enhance your privacy on iOS 10

How to enhance your privacy on iOS 10

If you have ever had your privacy breached in any way or form, you sure do know that it made you feel vulnerable, targeted and basically naked.

Having your privacy is a right that is valued by everyone, more so in these times where computers and mobile devices have taken over communication making it easy for one’s personal information to be found. We should endeavor to protect ourselves from having our identities, information, and data from being stolen or meddled with.

The following are 10 measures one can take to protect their privacy on iOS:

Limit or Disable Location Services

Information on your device that tells your location is the number one way one’s privacy gets taken away from them. Advantageous as it may be, one needs to be careful to give too many apps or services access to their location or how it is being used. You can always configure your location settings to only allow the apps or services that you want to know your location, if not, you can simply disable it.

Configure the Settings for Safari

When using Safari, it may be easy for someone to have a peek of your information. This is because information is tracked automatically and the websites opened might give away your information. Settings like private browsing and other settings that can be configured are offered by Safari to enhance privacy.

 

Use Touch ID

This tool is the best thing on iPhone which allows you access to your phone by using your fingerprint. It is very easy, fast and secure. It also allows you to access your App Store and specific applications that require maximum security like PayPal. For one, your fingerprint is not accessible in any way as it is stored in a “Secure Enclave”. Secondly, it is not stored as an image but in a mathematical form. One should use Touch ID for everything they do.

Limit or Disable ad Tracking

Driven by market growth, some apps used on iPhones support ads. Apple uses ad tracking which gives access to iAds which bring up advertisements that are configured to your interests after accessing your information. What one can do is to limit or disable iAds ability to track your information to stop those ads from popping up.

Set Your Auto Lock

Setting your auto lock will always dim your iPhone or iPad when not in use or when the battery is low. It prevents any snoopy person from going into your device when unlocked and accessing all your private information which includes messages, social media and pictures to name a few.

Use VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be used especially if one accesses public networks. How it works is by tunneling your internet information to a remote server which cuts off anyone who tries to access your information. VPN providers like betternet and TunnelBear can be used or one can opt to pay for such services or make their own VPN at home.

Decrease Diagnostic Data Sending

Every time you come across a problem, you are prompted to send information which tells Apple that a certain program has a problem. Doing so also allows Apple to access your information which in hindsight they use to improve their product. To be safe, it is advisable to disable that feature.

Disable iCloud Photo Diary and My Photo Stream

I do not know about you but there is just some unease in having all my photos, videos and information out in some cloud that can be accessed by some malicious person with bad intentions if they really wanted to. If you do not want your pictures accessed, you should disable the iCloud and Photo Stream features which keep your fond memories of the internet.

Hide Notifications from Lock Screen

Simply put, whenever a message or any type of notification pops up, it can be seen on your screen. This makes it easy for a snoopy person to see what the messages are all about. One can stop that from happening by disabling the Show Previews option.

All in all, you should strive to protect yourself and your loved ones from malicious people out there. Take advantage of all the features provided by Apple to protect yourself as your privacy and security depend on your proactivity to do so.