Facebook and Netflix are sternly warning hundreds of millions of users like you about a spate of massive data breaches that could put your accounts at risk. This comes on the heels of scary and serious breaches.
Your emails, for instance, are very likely being sold on the Dark Web. We told you last month about a massive data breach when 273 million passwords were stolen from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. (Click here now to read more about this alarming breach.)
Facebook and Netflix are alarmed about that breach, plus others we recently told you about. LinkedIn, for instance, recently revealed that 117 million of its subscribers' login credentials were stolen and are for sale. Incredibly, in that hack, 64 percent of stolen passwords were "123456." If that's your password, hackers can guess it in less than a second. Anyone could guess that.
Facebook and Netflix are being proactive about warning you that your password may be at risk. The problem stems from using the same passwords for multiple sites, like Facebook and Netflix and your bank and wherever else you need to log in.
Netflix, for instance, has a software program called Scumblr that directly addresses this problem. They use it to scan email addresses and passwords that were stolen in data breaches, like the LinkedIn breach. Then, if Scumblr finds your credentials, Netflix will force you to change your password.
You may have received an email from Netflix, saying: "We believe your Netflix account credentials may have been included in a recent release of email addresses and passwords from an older breach at another company. Just to be safe, we've reset your password as a precautionary measure."
Facebook has used a similar method to find your stolen passwords, then alerting you about it.
Here's the problem. When your email address and passwords are stolen, hackers then try to use those credentials to access your other accounts. That could be Netflix, Facebook, your bank, and so on.
In other words, if you don't have an extremely secure password, cybercriminals can use it to access your private information, including your financial information.
Here's what you need to do now.
1: Create a secure password
If you think it's a hassle to come up with secure passwords for all your different accounts, it isn't. Follow these easy steps:
- Use a free password generator like Random Password Generator to create secure passwords for you
- Or, create your own complex password with at least eight characters, including upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols
- Use a passphrase that you'll easily remember but hackers will never guess, like CoyotesNo42!
- Keep it simple: Use a FREE password manager to hide all your passwords behind one password. It's an easy way to create complex passwords, safely store them, and retrieve them whenever you need them.
Then, take one more very important security precaution.
2. Set up two-factor authentication. It's simple to do for your Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple accounts. Basically, before someone can change your password or log into your account from a new phone, tablet or computer, they need a special code. But only you know the code, as it is delivered to your phone via text message.