A recent data leak has revealed passwords for a large number of accounts. This includes accounts for Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, among other services.
The leak came from Login Broker, a service that allows users to use one account to log into another account. For example, you can use the Login Broker app to log into all of your different social media accounts so that you only have to enter your password one time.
According to the Daily Beast, which first reported the data breach, the exposed data includes more than seven million passwords belonging to Google accounts and over a million credentials for Yahoo accounts. Other victims include LinkedIn, Viviu, Boonup, Onename, and Youmi.
Sadly this is not the first time we have heard about this sort of incident occurring. Earlier this year in March there was a similar incident where data brokers were found selling personal information such as phone numbers and addresses but also passwords.
Why are they important?
Passwords are the first line of defense in computer security. A strong password is difficult for someone to guess or figure out.
Many people make the mistake of using the same passwords for different websites and services. If one of those sites or services is compromised, a hacker could then use that password to try to get into your account on other sites.
Others keep track of their passwords by writing them down on a piece of paper or keeping them in a file on their computer. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it can easily be misplaced or lost.
The worst case scenario is that if you do not remember this piece of paper or what file this is in, you will lose all your passwords and will have to start from scratch. Not very safe!
There are several apps and tools that help you manage your passwords so you do not have to keep them written down. It is recommended you use one of these to help keep yourself safe.
What happens if I forget my password?
If you forget your password, you can either reset it or create a new account.
If you choose to reset your password, Instagram allows you to do this in two ways. You can either use the normal email password reset or use an additional security feature– a phone verification.
If you choose to use the phone verification, Instagram will send you a quick text with a code. You will then have to enter that code in the app to confirm your account deletion or password change. This is a good security measure as it is harder to spoof a text message and its code than it is to hack an email.
Once entered, your new account or old one is deleted! If you are nervous about completely deleting your account, you can choose to just change your password instead.
What should I do to keep my passwords safe?
While there is no foolproof way to keep your passwords safe, there are some pretty good ways to do it. The first is to use a password manager.
Most popular password managers, like LastPass, Enpass, and Keeper, have very similar features. They allow you to create strong passwords, keep them organized by website, and have two-factor authentication.
With a password manager, you can install their app on your phone or computer and they have a secure space where you can save all of your passwords. This is helpful because then you do not have to remember your password for the app on your phone because you have the computer version in the same place.
Another tip is to use different passwords for different websites or applications. If one account gets hacked, then you do not want all of your other accounts to be compromised too! Using different passwords for different things also helps reinforce memory of them.
What is encryption?
Encryption is the process of converting information into a secure form. Only individuals with access to certain security tools can convert the information back to its original form.
Encryption is used for a variety of purposes, including security and privacy. By encrypting your information, you can rest assured that it is safe from prying eyes.
There are several ways to encrypt information. One of the most popular methods is called encryption algorithms. These are special codes that change ordinary data into a coded form.
There are many different algorithms, some of which are more advanced than others. The more advanced ones are harder to crack and provide more security for your information.
Encryption is an important tool in digital security and privacy.
Should I update my password?
As mentioned before, passwords are the primary way to protect your accounts. As we have seen, accounts are not totally protected unless you have the perfect password.
However, having a strong password is still very important. Unfortunately, even the best passwords can be cracked with the right software and time.
Cybersecurity companies develop programs and test passwords to see how long it would take them to crack them. Depending on the quality of the password, it can be cracked within seconds, minutes, hours, days, or weeks.
There is no definite time frame for when a password will be cracked, it all depends on the company testing it and how good of a password it is. Some are very generic and easy to guess, therefore taking less time to crack.
I would recommend updating your password if you have been using the same one for a while and have had some close calls with security breaches.
How can I create a secure password?
A strong password is a string of characters that either change the order of the letters in a word or add extra characters, like numbers or symbols.
For example, instead of using the password pa55word, you would change the order of the letters to aw5paspo55 or add extra characters like !Pa5s!o55.
Additionally, you can use a password manager to help you keep track of all your passwords and make them strong. Most password managers offer features that remind you to change your passwords on different accounts or automatically change your password for you when there has been a security breach.
Some even offer features that let you know if someone has tried to login to your account from an unknown device. Having these features set up can help prevent identity theft.
What should I do if my passwords appear in the data leak?
If your account passwords appear in this data leak, you should change your passwords immediately. Do not wait until you get notified by Facebook that your password has been compromised-you should know now that there is a chance your password has been exposed!
It is also important to update your passwords if you use the same one on other accounts, especially financial accounts. By changing them, you are being very protective of your assets.
It is recommended to use complex passwords with at least eight characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. You should also use different accounts for different websites to further protect yourself.
If you do not recall having an account on Facebook, then there is no need to worry-you were probably not included in the data leak.
Who is behind this data leak?
Earlier this year, a group called The 17th Floor released a database of passwords and some flaired usernames from a large number of websites. Most of the accounts in the database were from .com domains, but many other domains were included.
The group claimed they gathered the accounts through social engineering, using fake accounts to gather information and then blackmailing website administrators for account information. They also claimed to have paid for some accounts.
Social engineering is the practice of manipulating people into doing what you want, usually through lies or intimidation. In this case, The 17th Floor claims they used social engineering to get people to give them information they wanted.
While this may seem like an impossible feat to accomplish, it has been proven time and time again that it works. It is incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings and what people are asking you, especially on the internet.