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"Change your password now" - What to do if you have a Yahoo account

Experts say beefing up your security is the only way to protect yourself from a potential attack.

Yahoo Offices in Dublin
Yahoo Offices in Dublin
Image: Niall Carson/PA

TECH GIANT YAHOO has confirmed that half a billion accounts have been hacked leaving hundreds of millions vulnerable to malicious online criminals.

While no financial information has been stolen by what the company is calling “state-sponsored hacking”, there are still a lot of personal details at risk.

The computer giant admitted that names, email addresses, birth dates, and scrambled passwords were stolen in the massive attack in 2014.

While other providers such as Gmail are more popular in Ireland, Yahoo still has a large number of Irish account holders who now need to take action.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, cybersecurity company Novi recommended the following:

  • Change your password now.
  • Scan your devices for any malware/viruses.
  • Beware of strange emails – now the hackers have your details, they can spam your account with official looking emails purporting to be from banks, internet providers etc. Best to check the email’s legitimacy by contacting the company.
  • Change your password for any other email/banking accounts if it was the same as your Yahoo details.
  • Use cryptic passwords when you reset them – not anything easily identifiable.
  • Set up a new email address with another provider.

Cyber security expert George O’Dowd, who is the managing director of  Novi, is urging the public to keep all their personal information out of the hands of potential criminals.

He told TheJournal.ie:

The best way to make sure your information is safe is by using what is known as two-step authentication. This means you have another layer of security. If someone has your user name and password, they will need a specific code to type in which is nearly impossible to access.

“If you have a Yahoo account, change your password now.Using different passwords on different accounts is also important. Don’t use the same password for everything and don’t use easy ones like the names of your children or the town you’re from. They would be the easiest to get.”

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) released a statement this afternoon saying they are liaising with their US counterparts.

The statement read: “The DPC was notified of the Yahoo data breach yesterday. We have raised a number of issues with Yahoo for which we are seeking further information
and clarification. We are presently awaiting their response.

“Additionally, under a memorandum of understanding with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) facilitating cooperation between the two offices, the DPC is making contact with the FTC to coordinate our respective enquires.”

Data Protection Commissioner seeking answers after massive Yahoo privacy breach >

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