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Don’t have a Yahoo Mail account? Your data could still be leaked

Don’t have a Yahoo Mail account? Your data could still be leaked
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

The biggest news last week was the confirmation by Yahoo of a massive breach of their customers' data, exposing over 500 million Yahoo accounts.

Information stolen may include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays, hashed passwords and even encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

Yahoo is claiming that a "state-sponsored actor" is behind the attack, which means a foreign government could be responsible for the data breach. This hack may also have serious implications on the Verizon-Yahoo merger deal that was announced earlier this year.

As we advised you, you should check your other accounts as well. Even if you don't have a Yahoo account that you know of, you may still be affected by the hack if you use any of these Yahoo-owned services:

  • Tumblr, a blogging service
  • Flickr, a photo sharing site
  • Play Fantasy Football via Yahoo Sports
  • Use your Yahoo account to accessYahoo-branded services like Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo Music, etc.
  • Your smart TV uses Yahoo Smart TV services (usually associated with the Vizio brand)

If you have any of these accounts, please review your credentials as soon as possible and secure your account by changing your passwords.

Tumblr

For Tumblr bloggers:

  1. Log in to your Tumblr account
  2. Click "Settings" under the Account menu at the top of the dashboard
  3. Update your password in the Password section. Click "Save"

Flickr

For Flickr account holders:

  1. Sign in to your account at www.flickr.com
  2. Click on your profile picture on the top-right corner of your profile page and select Settings
  3. Scroll down to "Your Yahoo Account" Section and edit your Yahoo password

Other Yahoo services

For other Yahoo services such as Yahoo Sports or Yahoo Messenger:

  1. Sign in to your Yahoo Account Info page
  2. Find Account Security
  3. Click Change Password

On Vizio Smart TVs that use Yahoo Apps:

  1. Get your account name by going to the "Yahoo! Profile" app on your TV
  2. Go to a web browser using your "Yahoo! Profile" account, sign in to your Yahoo Account Info page
  3. Find Account Security
  4. Click Change Password

Old Yahoo accounts

Another thing you'll need to check is if you have old Yahoo accounts that you have forgotten about. If you can recall any of your old Yahoo accounts that are now dormant and you haven't used them in a long time nor are they linked to any other services, it is recommended that you just delete them.

To deactivate a Yahoo account:

  1. Go to your Yahoo Account Info page
  2. Go to the "Terminating your Yahoo account" page
  3. Read the info under "Before continuing, please consider the following information"
  4. Confirm your password
  5. Click Terminate this Account

Password reuse attacks on other sites

With major data breaches like this, password reuse attacks will inevitably happen. If you are using the same passwords for multiple accounts, it is important that you review and change them now as well. If you don't know by now, it is bad practice to use the same password across different services.

This is also a good time to review your banking accounts and check for signs of identity theft and fraud.

Furthermore, beware of any phishing attempts that may capitalize on the situation. Carefully scrutinize any emails, texts or calls claiming to be from Yahoo, they might be just fraudulent attempts to steal more of your personal information.

While you're at it, please create strong and unique passwords for every online account you have. A single data breach is all it takes to compromise your multiple online identities.

We also recommend an offline, free password manager, such as Keepass. For further reading about password safety, there's a new way to thwart hackers by using a different sort of password. Read more about Kim's password tips in a recent USA Today column by clicking here.

For even more password tips, click here to learn the five most common password mistakes that people make.

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Source: CNN
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