BBB Urges Consumers and Businesses to Change Passwords

Hackers Reported to Have Stolen More than One Billion User Name and Password Combinations
August 06, 2014

Better Business Bureau urges consumers and businesses to change their passwords in the wake of a report of a massive international data breach.

According to the Hold Security, its Deep Web Monitoring program discovered what could be the widest-ranging global security breach in history, affecting an estimated 420 thousand websites, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small internet sites.

The company did not list the names of the hacked websites, however, Hold Security reports the hackers captured a staggering 1.2 billion user names and passwords, and more than 500 million email addresses.

According to its website, Hold says "As long as your data is somewhere on the World Wide Web, you may be affected by this breach."

The statement continues "Your data ... could have been stolen from the service or goods providers to whom you entrust your personal information, from your employers, even from your friends and family."

Protect Your Passwords

Here are some tips on creating strong passwords:

  • Use a longer password than required – the longer it is, the harder it is to crack.  Using at least 10 - 12 is ideal.
  • Mix letters, numbers, and special characters.  Try to be creative, but make it something you, and only you, can recall.  Don’t use your name, birthdate, or common words. 
  • Never use the same password for many sites. If a hacker gets your password from one account, it can be used to hack into all of your accounts.
  • Never give passwords on the phone, in texts or in email – even to people you know.  No legitimate companies will ask you via text, email or mail for your password. 
  • If you have to record your password, keep the record in a secure place, out of site of others.