How the Uber Breach Could Affect ALL of Your Passwords
You have probably heard about the huge Uber breach, which happened in 2016. It is estimated that more than 57 million accounts were compromised. The data that was available to hackers included names, phone numbers, and emails. Though it happened in 2016, hackers are still using that information to send Uber users emails that are specifically designed to steal their passwords.
Many have reported this, and the emails really look like they are going to be helpful. For instance, they might say something like this:
“You have likely heard that Uber was involved in a malicious data breach in 2016. We are sorry to inform you that information you provided to Uber in the past was involved in this breach. Please click below to change your password and confirm that you have received this message.”
This sounds pretty legit, right? It also looks legit with the Uber logo and an official looking design. However, it’s totally fake and if you follow through, the hackers would now have your password.
Though this is a fake email, it definitely has some good advice, which is probably given just so it will sound authentic. What is the advice? Change your password. In fact, if you ever read the original email, it would advise you to change the passwords on all of your online accounts.
The hackers in this case have access to a full database of more than 50 million Uber customers. So, they know exactly who to send these emails to. This sounds pretty tedious, but there is software and websites that hackers can use to fully automate much of the busy work.
Whether or not you are part of this Uber hack is irrelevant. You could still be targeted by the bad guys. The best way to protect yourself is to focus on recognizing phishing scams and update your passwords.
Most people know that they should use a unique password, that means don’t reuse the same password twice across multiple critical accounts. And it’s also true that about 2/3rds of us have forgotten one of our passwords. However, by using a password manager, you can easily solve all of your password issues and stay safe. What is a password manager? It is a type of software that allows you to store your log in information for any website you use. Then, when you go to a particular website, the password manager logs you in.
Password managers are safe, too. All of the information used by them is stored in a secure database and controlled by a master password. So, you only have to remember one password.
Tips for Using a Password Manager
Most people don’t just have one online account, but many people have one or two passwords that they use. This could get you in big trouble. Let’s say you have one password, “password4567,” and you gave that up when you clicked on the Uber email or it was part of the initial breach. Now, the hackers have your email and a password, and the first thing they are going to do is start trying to log into your bank, credit card accounts, etc. If the email address and password for those accounts is also “password4567,” you are in even bigger trouble.
A password manager, however, can help.
- A password manager allows you to create multiple passwords that are safe and protected.
- You only have to remember the master password, not all of your passwords.
- When you have a password manager, when you update a password, it automatically updates the password on all of your devices connected with the password manager.
Password Managers Help to Ease Stress
When you first begin using a password manager, you will likely feel less worried about your online accounts. You will also probably notice the following:
- You won’t need to put your password into a website. Instead, just open the password manager.
- The password manager fills in all of the information for you, and then seamlessly lets you log in.
Keep the Following in Mind
There are many reputable password managers available online. However, before you choose one, make sure to remember the following:
- All of the common internet browsers have password managers. However, they are very basic and lack encryption to the degree a password manager encrypts. So, a good hacker can still get your information.
- Browser-based online password managers don’t create custom passwords, either. Some of them also don’t sync from one platform to the other.
- Good password manager will work across all platforms including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox.
Password Managers Are Simple to Use
If you want to start using a password manager, the first step is to create a master password:
- Your master password should be very strong, yet it should also be easy for you to remember. This is the one password that you can use to access any online account.
- When you start using your password manager, go to every account you have online and use the password manager to change the password. This way, you know that your passwords are very strong.
- The best and most secure passwords contain both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Most password managers create passwords like these.
It’s very important to correctly manage all online accounts, especially when it comes to passwords. It’s easy to use the same password over and over, but it also makes you vulnerable.
Don’t Reuse Passwords…Even If They Are Good
Many people reuse passwords, but this, too can be dangerous:
- If the password is leaked, hackers can still get access to all of your information. This includes all they would need to access other sites.
- When a site gets hacked and the bad guys discover your username and password, the scammer can then use that information and plug it into other sites. As you know by now, this could easily give them access to websites such as PayPal and your bank account.
Create a Very Strong Password
Finally, when creating your master password, there are several ways to make sure that it is strong and secure, including the following:
- The password should be a minimum of eight characters in length.
- Mix up symbols, letters, and numbers, making sure they don’t spell out any obvious words. Create a phrase such as iLike1ceCream!
- Use a different password for every account, especially bank accounts.
- Change your password often to ensure security and safety.