You may have seen in the news recently, that Yahoo! confirmed that a breach took place in 2014, which left half a billion accounts compromised.
Whilst issues like these are becoming all the more common, you might be getting so used to these breaches happening that you simply stop caring about them.
“Half a billion Yahoo accounts? Well, I only used Yahoo 10 years ago and don’t really care if my Yahoo! account is hacked anymore...”
That may all be well and good, but if you have a habit of setting the same password for multiple websites then this may be a big issue for you.
With a single password breach for something like LinkedIn, hackers can take this same information and gain access to your email, bank account, Facebook - and with all of those can pretty much take up your entire identity.
What if there was a way to see if any of the accounts you own have been hacked?
Well, there is!
Just go to www.haveibeenpwned.com and enter your email address and press enter. Get ready to be surprised!
Go on - I’ll wait whilst you just do that now...
The website will list all of the known breaches that your email address is listed in. Apparently I’ve been listed in 6 breaches! Say what!?
So it’s not all that bad for me. I’m quite careful with passwords and I have always used a password manager to minimise the number of passwords that I have to actually remember.
This means I can set a different password for every single site that I log into, and that takes a HUGE problem of having one of my accounts hacked, into a TINY problem of just changing one password.
Had I been using the same password for all of my online accounts then I would have had to change the password on every single online account that I knew of. That could take hours!
Setting a different password for every online service can be tricky, which is why a good password manager is key to allowing you easy access to your normal websites. You can also enable 2-factor authentication, which requires a second, randomly generated password to be entered at the time of logging in - one that is usually texted to your mobile phone, or emailed to you.
My current favourite password manager program is 1password, as it ties in with the Apple operating systems nicely, it has an iPhone & iPad app and it works very well.
Some more clever password managers out there can even automatically change your passwords when a breach is detected.