Australian data protection expert Troy Hunt has exposed the biggest single data breach known so far. During the recent data breach, nearly 773 million email addresses’ passwords leaked. This data was posted in a data collection called Collection #1. The raw form of the data comprises 2,7 billion rows of email addresses and passwords. Furthermore, the passwords are in written form, which means that everyone is able to read them. This makes the data breach particularly serious.
The data protection expert, who exposed the breach, build a site called Have I Been Pwned, where internet users can check, whether if users account that has been compromised in a data breach. In the same site, users can check, whether the password has previously appeared in a data breach and should never be used.
LEARNING TIP: Firstly, it is important to change all the passwords from your email accounts and start using two-phase authentication. Secondly, it is crucial to make your passwords as secure as possible. Many use similar passwords to several different accounts with only minor variations.
Modern computers are able to break simple and short passwords within minutes, even if using capital letters, numbers and special characters. The safest passwords should contain at least 15 characters and could even form a sentence, sentence is also easier to remember compared to random letters and characters. Never store passwords at your own computer, as malware is able to collect them.
Consider using password management programs, where you can save your passwords or the program can create random passwords for you. Most commonly used programs: Dashlane, F-Secure Key, Keychain, Keepass, Password Safe, Lastpass and 1password.
Read more on cyber attacks and see the tips on how to avoid being attacked in the first place.