How to Check if You've Been Affected by the Yahoo Hack

Jordan Kadlec

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As some reading this may know, the Yahoo hack happened last month.  Sources are starting to state that this may be the biggest hack in history. A state-sponsored actor sparked a network security breach that has affected an estimated 500 million people.



While the Yahoo hack was large, there have been many of other data breaches throughout the ages, and chances are, most people and businesses have been affected by at least one of them. We are lucky that most businesses attempt to warn their customers and users to these network security hacks as soon as possible. However, sometimes companies don't find out about them until it's too late, sometimes months or years later. In the spirit of maintaining computer security, here are some factors you may want to check to ensure that you are safe.

 

What is Yahoo doing?

Executives at Yahoo have passed down a plan which currently involves emailing owners of affected accounts. This is a great initiative when working with businesses who are concerned with their computer security. However, it's important to look out for wolves in sheep's clothing during this time. Be very wary of any suspicious-looking emails or messages. If you receive any that urge you to click a link, do not proceed any further. Consult a reputable source before taking any further action. Satisfying your curiosity is not worth the potential security risks that could befall your business.

 

What does the Yahoo email look like?

Of course, if you do receive a legitimate email from Yahoo, you should take the necessary steps that they recommend. Please make sure that you are completely certain you are being contacted by Yahoo. Here are some of the signs of a legitimate email from Yahoo. First, the email will state that they are writing to inform you of a "data security issue that may involve your Yahoo account information." Furthermore, they will briefly explain what happened as “A copy of certain user account information was stolen from our systems in late 2014 by what we believe is a state-sponsored actor. We are closely coordinating wth law enforcement on the matter and working diligently to protect you.”

 

Change your passwords

Whether you've received an email from them or not, it can be extremely helpful to change your passwords in this situation to be safe. Also, if you've been dragging your feet on setting up two-factor authentication, you may want to utilize it immediately. Two-factor authentication is a method of confirming a user's claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different components. You may notice that online accounts ask you to answer questions like, "What is your mother's maiden name?" This would be an example of two-factor authentication.

As one can see, the recent Yahoo hack is a threatening thing in terms of network security. However, if you and your company take the necessary steps, rest assured, your information can be protected.

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