Yahoo confirmed on Sept 23 that data from half a billion users were stolen by hackers in 2014 in possibly the largest security breach ever. The company urged affected users to change their passwords.
However, the stolen information also included names, e-mail addresses and security questions and answers that may be used to break into the victims’ other online accounts.
In other words, this security breach may require affected users to change more than their Yahoo passwords – they may need to change the passwords of other online accounts that had used the same e-mail address and security question.
As you can imagine, this can be very frustrating for users. Not only do they have to change their passwords, they must also ensure that the replacement passwords are strong ones that are not easily cracked. Such passwords are usually random alphanumeric characters that are difficult to remember.
For convenience and security, I recommend using a password manager app to generate and save strong passwords for your online accounts. Instead of memorising a score of passwords, you just need to remember a single master password.
Therefore, for accounts involving sensitive data, such as your online banking account, you should enable two-factor authentication to provide an extra layer of security. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo offer this feature for their e-mail accounts too.
A version of this story first appeared in The Straits Times.