Amazon's two-factor authentication could not have come at a more opportune time. We wrote about this important security feature last Thursday after it was turned on. We urged you to turn it on and today's news is why.
ZDNet is reporting that an unknown number of Amazon passwords may have been compromised. Several readers wrote the site to tell them that Amazon had force-reset their accounts. If Amazon believes a password has become unsafe or insecure for any reason, it can reset the account. If it happens to you, you'll get an email prompting you to authenticate your account using a temporary password and then choose a new one.
We don't know what happened to these passwords or how many were compromised. We do know that Amazon had some kind of security issue. In emails to customers who were affected, Amazon acknowledged that passwords "may have been improperly stored on your device or transmitted to Amazon in a way that could potentially expose it to a third party." The company also said that it had fixed the problem, whatever it was.
Could this be a data breach? We don't know, but it doesn't hurt to change your password right now. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, if your old password was weak, it's a good opportunity to use these handy tips to beef up the new one. And you should definitely enable two-factor authentication. It's your money, after all!
Some emails claiming to be from Amazon are fakes. Click here to learn how to spot the warning signs.