Wednesday, August 6, 2014

You've been hacked! Here's what to do

Found this on Cnn Money:

"Russian criminals have stolen more than 1.2 billion Internet usernames and passwords, and the odds are decent that some of yours might be among them.

There's no need to panic at this point -- Hold Security, the firm that discovered the theft, says the gang isn't in the business of stealing your bank account information. Instead, they make their money by sending out spam for bogus products like weight-loss pills.

That means you need to stay on your guard. If you see strange messages being sent from your email or social media accounts, you might be among those affected.

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

Change your passwords and make them smart: When it comes important services, including email, banking and social media, you'll want to change those passwords. As a rule, create different passwords for different services,and change them every six months or so.

There's a lot of debate about what makes for the best password. Some experts recommend using a password manager -- a single service that you log into which then generates random passcodes for all your accounts.

But the danger with password managers is that they create a single point of failure: if the password manager itself is compromised, all your accounts become vulnerable.

Another solution is to use long sentences or phrases. The more characters you add to a password, the more difficult it is for a computer program to crack -- even if your password is a simple sentence that's easy to remember ("I Need 2 Spend Less Time On Social Media")."