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February 8th, 2014

My password was stolen. What do I do now?

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Update: The new eBay hack has customers changing passwords again. If you’re sick of changing your password every month after yet another breach, it’s time to consider a password management program like avast! Easy Pass.

The massive hack against Target, in which 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen, began with stolen login credentials from the air-conditioning repairman. This illustrates the old adage, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”

While consumers can’t control why a third party contractor would have external network access at a major retailer, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

How can I be notified if my email address or password was hacked?

Every two seconds in the US, someone becomes a victim of identity fraud. With 13.1 million victims last year and multiple companies (Facebook, Target, Neiman Marcus, Adobe) being exploited, there is a good chance you could be among them. You can use the have i been pwned notification service to learn if your email address was included in a large data breach. This service allows you to enter an email address and will notify you if your address appears in any databases added to the service. I learned that my email address was stolen from the Adobe breach, but thankfully, I haven’t been notified of anything else.

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What’s your weakest link?

You can’t stop shopping, but there are things you can do (other than paying cash only) if you’ve become the victim of hacking.

  1. 1.  Change your passwords We’ve talked about it plenty of times, but here’s a reminder: Make passwords long and strong. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. eNcrYP0123tion$ is stronger than Encryption123. If you can’t remember different passwords for all the accounts you have, use a password manager like avast! EasyPass. Read more…
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