I passed along some information in September about the 500 MILLION user account data breach at Yahoo, which was not announced until AFTER it had been sold to Verizon. NOW we find out it is actually 1 BILLION user accounts…with a capital B… that were breached. Once again, it you have a Yahoo account, and you have not done so, it might be prudent for you to go in and change your login info, and your personal info (such as email and phone number if you had it listed) just to be sure you are not vulnerable to any hack attacks.
Obviously, there is nothing that can be done about the hack now, but it gives us good reason to make sure we are very careful on future account that we set up anywhere, and what info we include. Some things I do that you may or may not want to do or do already include:
- Don’t put a real name in the account. Just put your initials if they will allow it. If not, just put in your first initial multiple times, and your last initial multiple times to fulfill any character minimums.
- Put in January 1 and the year you were born to meet the age requirement. Again, this is NOT a credit application. I don’t think a website is gonna devote someone to calling to verify the validity of the info you enter.
- For a phone number, I use a Google Voice number, which is forwarded to another phone. If the number gets picked up by some hacker, I can always delete the number and get a new one or just block the number via Google Voice. This works with other phone number forwarding sites as well.
- If a site needs a credit card number, get a prepaid card and use it. Much easier to keep getting new cards and changing the payment method than putting your actual account in and having it cleaned out and you being held responsible for paying it off.
- If a site asks for your SSN, run like the devil is chasing you, and get away from the site.
So that is my take on the data breaches that seem to be occurring more frequently and with more ferocity. Now you may ask, why do I continue to do things online, especially with the daily risk of breaches? Simple. Internet data goes over the same transmission lines as phone calls and credit card authorizations. So if they are gonna get you via electronic methods, they are gone get you. I just prefer to make it a little more difficult, and want to make them work for it.
If you have any tips or suggestions or thought on the matter, please add them in the comments box below.
And be careful out there, cyberspace wise!