Hackers Stole Data on 500 Million Yahoo Users
Yahoo announced on Thursday that hackers stole the account information of at least 500 million users two years ago. According to a report in The New York Times, this is the largest known intrusion of one company’s computer network. The user information stolen by hackers includes names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, encrypted passwords and in some cases, even security questions. The information was compromised back in 2014 by what the company believed was a “state-sponsored actor.” The company did not say which country was involved.
What This Means for Users
If you have or had a Yahoo account at some point, what does it mean for you? Changing Yahoo passwords will be just the beginning for many users. They will also have to check through other services to ensure that passwords used on those sites are not the same or similar to what they were using on Yahoo. It is also necessary to treat everything you get online with suspicion, just in case hackers are trying to trick you out of even more information.
Yahoo is sending out correspondence to its users warning that it is invalidating existing security questions such as mother’s maiden name or the street you grew up on. The company is also asking users to change their passwords and change up the security on other online accounts such as bank accounts and monitor them for any suspicious activity. Experts say the stolen Yahoo data is critical because it not only leads to a single system but to users’ connections to their banks, social media profiles, other financial services and even users’ friends and family members.
How Can You Protect Yourself
There are several steps you can take if your account has been compromised. First, monitor all your existing accounts. Look for any unauthorized activity or transfers on your current bank accounts including retirement and brokerage accounts. Sign up for credit alerts and identity theft protection. Sign up for fraud alerts as well. This warns lenders and others to take special care to ensure your identity before issuing new credit. Contact major credit bureaus and ask that a fraud alert be placed on your file. Continue to remain vigilant. You never know when or where the stolen identities will be used. If your personal information has been breached, you will forever need to remain vigilant.
If you have had a Yahoo account, are affected by the breach and are interesting in potentially becoming a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, call the consumer class action attorneys at Bisnar Chase at 1-800-561-4887. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.