This is an age-old problem, even before websites and online security. Passwords being hacked has been an issue for as long as passwords have existed. I’ve been a network consultant for over twenty years and a network administrator for over thirty years so I want to share my thoughts with you on this.
Think about it—if there is a password or a lock involved, someone will have the urge to figure out a way to pick it to gain entry to what’s inside.
While online security is always improving, so is the technology to hack it. Sadly, many companies do not follow through and test their systems to make sure they are up to date. This is also true with website owners. Too often, they do not update their software on their com- puter and their data is breached giving access to their online assets. Or, their website systems have not been updated and their informa- tion is easily accessed.
The worst part is that once this online information is discovered, the hacker community will share the data or post the database of passwords to gain needed information.
What Can You Do About Password Breach
Getting back on track can be pretty easy. First, you need to check if your accounts have been breached. Then, make a list of the email addresses you usually use to access different online accounts. If you’re like me, you probably have both a personal account and a business one. (And, maybe a few that you have but no longer use.)
The next step is to visit: https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and check each email address to see if you get any results back. If so, visit each site and update your password. The list shows a date of the reported breach so it’s possible you’ve already updated the password on that site.
If you found the email address that you’ve used with any of those sites has been compromised, I would highly suggest you never use that password again. As I mentioned earlier, it will now be in a password database and could be used to access other sites that they find your email address associated with.
You then have to create a more secure password. In a past Traces article, I’ve explained some methods on generating a more secure password. You can also read that article on my blog: https://frankdeardurff. com/blog/ — It’s entitled How To Create A Stronger Password.
Another security step you may want to consider is adding two-step veri- fication. This is also something I have written on before in Traces or you can also see it on my blog posted under What is Two-Step Verification?
Lastly, if you’re using a password manager, many of those now come with a search tool to see what accounts have used that password. You would be ahead of the game if you updated those websites, as well.