Public Service Announcement - LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony Password Breach

This is the 5th post in a series called Public Service Announcements. My goal is to help you be aware of threats in the world of technology.

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USA TODAY reports that in the past week three prominent websites have had user's passwords stolen. The sites are LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony.

If you are a user of one of these websites you need to change your password immediately. Don't stop there though! You need to go change your password on all websites that use the same email and password combination that you used on the site that has had a security breach. This is a major pain in the butt but is highly important! Otherwise the hackers could get access to your email, bank accounts, and other shopping sites that use the same email and password combo.

An article from the NYTimes.com about the LinkedIn password breach gives some solid advice for passwords online.

  • Throw out the dictionary
  • Never use the same password twice
  • Choose your security questions carefully
  • Store your passwords somewhere safe
  • Change your passwords regularly

Most people find it too much work to have secure passwords online so they take the chance that nothing bad will happen to them. I was like that in the past as well and then one day my Gmail account got hacked (I used the same password for my Gmail account as many other sites) and I finally decided to take action.

I downloaded a password manager called 1Password. 1Password can create strong, unique passwords for you, remember them, and restore them, all directly in your web browser. It works on Macs, PCs, Android, iPhones, and iPads.

Here is an example of a very secure password that 1Password will generate for you when you are signing up for an account on a website.

The great thing is that I don't have to remember any of these crazy passwords because when I visit a website that requires an username and password I just click on the little 1Password button in my browser and it logs in for me.

Using something like 1Password won't prevent hackers from stealing your password, it will limit the damage because you will be using secure passwords and different passwords across the internet.

If you have any questions or need help getting your passwords straightened out please contact me.