Your Yahoo account was definitely hacked – here's what to do
In September 2016, Yahoo revealed a hack that compromised 500 million user accounts. In December, the company revealed yet another hack, this time affecting a record 1 billion accounts. On Tuesday, Yahoo updated that number to all 3 billion accounts its services.
The hack exposed names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords and unencrypted security questions. Here's what you can do now to protect yourself.
Log into your Yahoo account
This might sound obvious, but if you're like a lot of people, you might not use Yahoo Mail as your primary email account. Yahoo has 1 billion monthly active users on its services overall and just 225 million monthly active users for its Yahoo Mail service, according to figures the company gave CNET in June.
So check the email affiliated with your Yahoo account if you haven't already. Yahoo has started sending out notifications to users, and you should be receiving one at that account if you were affected by the data breach.
Change your password
If you haven't changed your password in a few years, do it -- now. The company says the passwords that hackers stole were encrypted -- scrambled up with a tool called bcrypt. This kind of encryption can potentially be broken with enough persistence, said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance, a nonprofit group that vets login systems.
That's especially true "when the attacker can make relatively accurate guesses at what the password might be," McDowell said. "Yahoo users with relativelyshould take the recommended precautions."
I'm looking at you, "."
Ask yourself, 'Did I use this password somewhere else?'
It's a common habit. Use the same password for lots of different accounts. If this breach has anything to teach you, it's that this is a terrible idea.
If you recycled your Yahoo password on a different account, go change your password on that account too. The hackers who have your password could easily try it on a whole bunch of different websites -- think bank websites or health insurance websites -- to try to access information beyond your Yahoo account.
Don't let them.
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