It seems like a new data breach is announced almost daily. Few are bigger than the Yahoo breach that became public last week. With at least half a billion accounts compromised many consumers are at risk. Most people use the same account credentials across many sites. So once a hacker has one account’s info they potentially have access to many more accounts.
72 percent of Americans believe their accounts are secure with only a username and password, based on a National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) survey.
Call For Action is excited to announce that we are participating in a new White House consumer education initiative being led by NCSA. Lock Down Your Login is a campaign designed to encourage the use of strong authentication. This includes practices like 2 factor or multifactor authentication, biometrics, and security keys.
Strong authentication, such as the use of a fingerprint or the confirmation of a one-time code, for your online accounts could have prevented as many as 62 percent of successful data breaches last year, according to the White House fact sheet announcing the campaign.
If you have had a yahoo email account since 2014, you should:
- update your Yahoo passwords,
- update your Yahoo security questions
- enable 2 factor authentication on your Yahoo account
- monitor other accounts for suspicious activity
- watch out for phishing attempts
Since so many of us use the same passwords across multiple sites now is a great time to make your accounts more secure, NCSA recommends:
- Lock Down Your Login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
- Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least
12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
- Unique account, unique password:Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
- Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can alternatively use a service like a password manager to keep track of your passwords.