MASSIVE Password Leak Contains 773 Million Details
Nothing in this world is certain except death, taxes and that your personal information will leak online.
Today's devastating news is that a staggering 773 million records have been published containing email address and passwords - and you could well be affected.
This leak isn't from one particular company like Talk Talk or Yahoo though, it is a package of previously leaked information constructed to help nefarious hackers break into accounts.
It's called "Collection 1" and the details have been posted by Troy Hunt, security expert and the brains behind the website "HaveIBeenPwned".
Hunt gets access to these leaks through contacts and collects details.
He doesn't share them, so his site doesn't make the problem worse, but he does allow you to check your email address to see where it may have leaked thanks to hacks and general corporate carelessness.
For security reasons It won't directly tell you if your passwords have been exposed, but if your email address is in the database you need to assume it has been.
Many passwords that appear in leaks are "hashed". Hashing is a way of hiding the password in a way that means you can log into a website, but anyone accessing your details won't be able to see what it is.
Sometimes password hashes are so weak they can be broken and this is down to poor security design.
So what should you do if you discover your details have been compromised?
The first step is to change passwords for sites that matter.
You should already be using a strong and unique password for your online banking and email addresses. If you're not, rethink that and get changing.The best protection from username/password hacks is to enable two-factor authentication. Most email companies support this, as do Twitter , Facebook and Instagram .
Using two-factor protects your account because you have to use an additional piece of security that hackers have no way of accessing.
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