Incredible Credential Breach “Collection #1” Means You Have Homework

Jennifer CaroleCyberSecurity Tips

Collection #1 Means You've Got Mail

You’ve heard this before: you need to change your passwords frequently to avoid having bad guys get in your business and mess things up. Then we go back to life and forget all about it. Until we see headlines like today.

Experts are talking about a massive breach called Collection #1.

This breach affects more than a billion combinations of email addresses and passwords, affecting 773 million unique email addresses in total. It was shared by Troy Hunt who runs the website, Have I Been Pwned (visit this site to see if your email has been pwned). Pwned is how we talk about getting owned in the cybersecurity biz (we stole it from the gamers).

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According to Krebs on Security, this is an old breach. But that doesn’t matter: theft is theft and it puts us all at risk. This is important because your information doesn’t age if you don’t change it. In plain English: if you use the same email and password combinations that’s you’ve used for years, you are taking a huge risk.

A Gigya report found 70% of people use seven or fewer passwords across their online accounts. Eurobarometer concluded that 62% of people had changed their passwords for at least one online service during the last 12 months. Experts recommend changing our passwords once a quarter (you know, like they do at the office).

Get a password manager, don’t use public wi-fi without a personal VPN.

The experts recommend using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to keep track of your passwords. Google Chrome and other browsers offer a password storage solution as well. Two-factor authentication is another layer of security that typically requires a code that’s been sent to your phone to confirm the log-in. Gizmodo has a good summary of how you can tackle password security.

And then, download a personal VPN to all the devices in your home. The VPN encrypts the information you send when you’re online, keeping your data private and safe. It’s essential if you use public wi-fi (like Starbucks or the hotel) when you shop, stream or surf. Get always-on protection from InvinciBull – it works on all your devices and with our Unlimited plan, you’ll be protected wherever you go.

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