Massive data breaches have been all over the headlines lately. Of course, the most significant one happened at Equifax. The consumer credit reporting agency exposed over 145 million Americans' critical information.
Not to be outdone, here comes Yahoo...again. We just learned that a previously reported Yahoo breach is much worse than originally thought.
Why Yahoo's data breach has gotten worse
Yahoo admitted to one of the world's largest data breaches on record near the end of 2016. The breach actually occurred in 2013 but the company didn't disclose it until last year. At that time, Yahoo claimed that up to 1 billion of its customer accounts were impacted.
Now, the company says that 3 billion accounts were actually impacted at that time. That means that every Yahoo account that was around in 2013 had user credentials stolen.
As you may know, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon earlier this year. That's how the additional breached accounts were discovered. A forensic investigation was completed following the acquisition, which determined that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the 2013 hack.
Yahoo said it will be sending email notifications to the additional affected user accounts. It also claims that the user account information that was stolen did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information. But can you really trust this claim?
If you haven't closed your Yahoo account yet, what are you waiting for? With every user account breached, now is the time.
How to close your Yahoo account
- Go to the "Terminating your Yahoo account" page.
- Read the information under "Before continuing, please consider the following information."
- Confirm your password - if you forgot your password, you can recover it with the Yahoo Sign-in Helper.
- Click Terminate this Account.
Remember, if you do close your Yahoo account, you will not be able to use services associated with it. So if you decide to keep it, at the very least make sure you have a strong password. Click here to learn how to create the strongest possible passwords.
You can also enable two-step verification, set up a Yahoo Account Key, or use a password manager. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
Other Yahoo-owned accounts that you should close
Yahoo Mail isn't the only service affected by the data breach. Any service connected to Yahoo may also be impacted.
Here is a list of Yahoo-owned services:
- Flickr - A photo sharing site
- Tumblr - A blogging service
- Yahoo Sports - This is used to play fantasy sports such as football, baseball, basketball and more
- Yahoo Smart TV apps - These apps are usually associated with Vizio and Samsung brand smart TVs
- Yahoo-branded services - For example, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo Music, etc.
With the data breach even worse than originally thought, you need to think about closing other accounts associated with Yahoo. Click here to learn how to close these accounts.
Speaking of security, there's one setting that you always need to turn on
You've been hearing a lot about the dangers lurking in the digital world. You see headlines that scream, "ransomware," "hackers," "scams," "ID theft" and more. All this is truly scary. Yet, there is one thing that you can simply set up to prevent a lot of cybercrimes from adversely affecting your life.