711 Million Email Addresses & Passwords Compromised

A France based security researcher that goes by the name of Benkow has uncovered a list of 711 million usernames and passwords. It is believed that the list was originally developed with the intention of supporting the delivery of a banking malware known as Ursnif. However, with the large list being available to anyone who knows it’s location, it also raises other concerns. The sources of the data is not completely clear but Benkow believes that some of it may have been obtained from previous breaches such as the leak from LinkedIn in 2016.

What should I do next?

1. Has your data been compromised?

If you want to check whether your data was involved in the breach and a number of other breaches for that matter, head over to the haveibeenpwned website and type in your email address.

2. Change your passwords!

Change your passwords, all of them, don’t use any similar or variations of old passwords. Create strong passwords that include a mixture of upper and lower case characters, numbers and special characters. Aim for a minimum of 16 characters per password. How will you remember such complex passwords? See step 3.

3. Use a Password Manager

A password manager is an encrypted local database that you install on your computer or mobile device. This database is then protected by one very strong password. Every time you setup a new service or change a password e.g. on linkedin.com, you use the Password Manager to randomly generate a strong password, this is then securely stored in the passwords manager. So in this instance, if you wanted to login to Linked In you would login to your password manager to obtain the password, the LinkedIn password you generated would be too complex for you to remember.

Benefits of using a Password Manager

  1. It’s more secure – you only have one very strong password that you need to remember, all of your passwords to access services such as Facebook or online banking are very strong, randomly generated and only available in your password manager. Further to this, you only ever use your master password  on your own devices to access the password manager, reducing the possibility of you being compromised even further.
  2. It’s faster to login – Most password managers come with features that will automatically fill login pages while the database is open.
  3. No more lost password – All of your passwords are stored in a secure database, just don’t forget the master password!

If you would like to find out more about password managers or would like to purchase one for your business, please feel free to call us for more information. Prices start from as little as £49.99 + VAT for one user and five devices.

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