I finally got hit: they spammed an old Yahoo email account of mine. Luckily, it only had a few email addresses in the contacts (and many of those out of date!) but still, the damage was done. They got an email from “me” with some virus-laden link about Indonesia. Who clicks on that stuff anyway?
If your passwords are easy for you to remember, they’re easy for the hackers to remember, too.
Oddly, I could get back in with my password (which I then immediately changed and strengthened). I also went through a few more security measures to beef up the vault there at Yahoo. The most common complaint I get, well, #2 after the most common “I’ve been hacked!” is, “But I can’t remember those really hard passwords!” Good, either can the hackers. If you’d like to get your password system organized, use something like LastPass. It’s a fantastic tool to manage your online world of logins so that:
- You never need to remember another password (well, except the LastPass one)
- Your passwords can be crazy difficult–which you must be doing these days, no ifs, ands, or buts.
- You can login from any browser (if you know your LastPass password).
- Your online world will be safer.
The weird thing is that it’s not always straightforward to delete an account. Those companies don’t really want to see you go and they also don’t want to make it too easy to accidentally remove an account, so it might be a few steps, several clicks, and entering things in all caps like, “DELETE.” But it’s worth the trouble.
While you’re cleaning up old email accounts you no longer use, what else do you have out there you no longer use? Domains you’ll never do anything with? Hosting accounts for sites you moved? Social media from services you know you’ll never touch? Get rid of them. If you can’t bear it, then at least log in and make the password ridiculously difficult–and let LastPass save it for you.
Another Yahoo user got hacked last week and we all (all several thousand of us) got this lovely note (fake, of course):