No one wants to have their emails hacked. But you might already be the next target. You just don’t know it yet.
According to security researcher Troy Hunt, about 1.2B unique combination of email address and passwords were leaked to the public. This data breach, called Collection #1, was hosted (now deleted) on MEGA, a popular cloud storage service.
You can check here if your email address was included in this breach, or in any previous breaches. But whatever result you find, we suggest you to change your passwords right now.
Two Tips to Protect Yourself from Getting Hacked
1. Use a password manager
If you aren’t already, we also recommend using a password manager.
This helps you create unique passwords every time you need one.
One of the main reason we use the same password across all our accounts is we have a hard time remembering multiple ones, much more the complicated passwords such as “sG27FG#sfsdg$%” — which you probably already know is harder to hack and safer than “lucythepug.”
So, instead of using your dog’s name in all your passwords, the password manager will take care of creating unique passwords for you. Most password managers also have apps and browser plugins. This ensures that you don’t spend a lot of time searching and typing for your passwords when you want to access Facebook or Instagram. When you load the website, your username and passwords auto populate the fields. If you have multiple accounts for the same site (like multiple Gmail accounts), you can choose from the list of accounts saved in the password manager, just click on it, then it populates the fields for you.
2. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Another anti-hacking tip that we strongly recommend is using a multi-factor authentication. This prevents people from accessing your accounts without you knowing it.
For those unfamiliar, MFA uses another device/app to verify whether you’re really the one logging in your account.
For example, when you login to your email, after entering your password, you will have to enter another code that is generated by the app/device you have chosen for your authentication.
It can also be a simple text message with a code which you then enter before you can access your email, or an app like Google Authenticator, which does exactly the same thing.
Whatever you choose, this is much safer than just relying on your passwords.
While you think this may slow you down, that additional 5 seconds will save you the headache later on.
Also, you actually don’t need to do this every time you login the site. If you have your own computer, you can stay logged in your account. That means you don’t have to authenticate every time you use the service.
Just last Monday, New Zealand’s cyptocurrency exchange Cryptopia suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses.
As more consumers and businesses depend on the internet more and more, cyber threats like these will only increase. So, instead of thinking that you won’t be hacked, or waiting for you to get hacked before you do something about it, you can start by following these two simple tips.
Change your passwords today.
Use a password manager and enable multi-factor authentication.
You can thank us later!