We all know about the major hacking of Yahoo which was announced last week, and you will have seen the various articles offering hints and tips of what to do if you think you might be affected. When over half a billion people worldwide are affected by a hack that took place over two years ago, and which also was the second hack to befall Yahoo in 2014, you have to think what can I do to minimise the chances of any of my accounts been compromised.

If you sign up to a service or website owned by Google or Yahoo, such as Flickr and YouTube, an account with Google and Yahoo is needed. To setup an account all you need to do is get an email address with Google or Yahoo and depending on the service or website you are signing up to a throwaway email address.

Throwaway email addresses are disposable email addresses that are never used for business or personal correspondence and should have no links to your main email address/addresses or any of your social media accounts. Obviously when using a service such as Flickr, a throwaway email should never be used. By using a throwaway email address, you have a lot less to worry about if a data breach occurs, because the perpetrators will have gotten hold of information which will be of no use to them.

Of course the most obvious way to guarantee the security of any email address that you use is to change your password on a regular basis or use two factor authentication, and delete any suspicious emails that you may receive.
dilbert-phishing-scam-email-comic-spamThese suspicious emails also known as phishing emails may ask you for personal details, or ask you to click a link because they claim one of your accounts got hacked and that you need to login to change your password.

Most data breaches are not officially exposed when they happen, so how can you spot if your account is compromised? There are a few tell-tale signs that will help you spot a compromised account and they include, suddenly finding you are locked out of various online services or websites that you use, finding out that your PayPal account has been used by somebody else, emails that you did not write are sent from your account and finding that out that your email address has had its password changed.

If you have spotted any of the tell-tale signs that I mentioned you should soon be changing your online habits. Throwaway email addresses. two factor authentication and changing your passwords on a regular basis will soon become part of your daily routine.

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