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Collection # 1: the newest hack to hit the headlines

The subject of hacking was a top billing in the news for most of 2018, and guess what, it’s happened again!

If you aren’t sure what we are talking about, we’ll give you the lowdown!

Basically, Troy Hunt, one of the world’s most famous security experts, has reported that over 773 million emails and 21 million passwords have been hacked.

Calling it Collection #1, in his blog he explains that he was contacted by multiple people directing him to a large collection of files on a popular cloud service. The files totaled over 12,000 (more than 87GB of data) and contained lists of personal data. He was then directed to a popular hacking forum, where these lists had been published.

According to Hunt, the huge database is the result of several databanks, which have affected individuals, sites and commercial organisations.

How do I check if my email address has been compromised?

The site created by Troy Hunt, Have I Been Pwned, allows you to check if your data is on the database.

Enter your email addresses associated with the accounts you want to check and the tool will tell you if your data has been published or if you are one of the lucky ones who can rest assured.

If your email address is among those hacked, it’s time to take action.

What to do if you find your account on Collection #1

Change your password for each account associated with your email address.

The recommendations of computer security experts are always the same:

  • create a strong password of at least 8 characters
  • use uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, numbers
  • enable two-factor authentication for sites that allow it
  • use a password manager to create and store all your passwords
  • avoid reusing the same password for multiple accounts/sites

What is the risk if I find my data in the database?

The main risk is to see your account violated. With a simple software, you can, in fact, create combinations of email and password and try to access your personal accounts.

If you use the same email/password combination for multiple accounts, the risks of fraudulent access are even greater.

A recent example is when a group of German politicians, in 2018 saw their personal documents, holiday photos, telephone numbers, etc. published online.

So remember: take care of your data and take advice from the steps above to protect it!  Copyright notice: Picture merged from

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Photo by Taskin Ashiq on Unsplash

 

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