Yahoo’s announcement today that the information of more than 500 million users was stolen in a massive cyber-attack is a fresh reminder of how vulnerable our information is on the Internet.
Yahoo is advising users to immediately change their passwords, invalidate their security questions and answers, and review accounts for suspicious activities.
Below are some basic cyber security tips you should always keep in mind:
- Use passwords that consist of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g., *, #, @, or &).
- Do not use personal information like spouses' or children’s names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, or anniversaries in your passwords.
- Change your passwords often. You can remember to do so by putting reminders on your calendar for every 90 days.
- Do not reuse old passwords or use the same user name and password combinations for multiple websites.
- Never click on links or download attachments in emails from email addresses you do not know.
- Watch out for emails that claim to be from a bank or government agency that asks for you to send them sensitive information like your Social Security or bank account numbers.
- Set up your computer, web browser, and anti-virus programs for automatic software and operating system updates.
- Do not leave your computer in an unsecured area, or unattended and logged on, especially in public places.
- Phones are computers too and increasingly store our sensitive information, so always lock your phone when you are not using it.