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Are Your Social Media Accounts Safer Than Mr. Zuckerberg’s?

A hacker group that calls itself OurMine claims that it has gained access to several of social media tech giant, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts, as a result of the 2012 LinkedIn data breach. Zuckerberg is the latest example of what can happen when you create and reuse weak passwords. What is surprising is how weak his password was. According to the hackers, his password was “dadada.” However, his Facebook account remains intact and best practices have been employed to secure his compromised accounts.

Are you a victim too?

The LinkedIn data breach reportedly exposed 117 million passwords. As a result, LinkedIn inactivated all the passwords on LinkedIn for members who hadn't updated it since the 2012 incident. They also reached out and let them know what had happened, reminding them to reset their passwords on other sites. You can also run a check to see if your email account has been included in a released database. The website Have I Been Pwned? provides a simple yet useful service to help determine if you have been a victim of data breach. Simply enter your email address and the website will reveal if your data has been leaked. If you have been ‘pwned’ then change your password across all social media immediately.

What are the precautions to take?

  • Beef up your passwords:

    When creating and updating passwords, make sure that your new password is a minimum of eight characters long and doesn’t contain your real name, username, or any other personally identifying information. The best passwords include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

  • Don’t re-use passwords: Once a hacker has cracked a password for one of your

    accounts, they’ll try to use it to gain access to all your accounts. This is why it’s important to create a unique password for each account.

  • Use a password manager: It can be challenging (or nearly impossible) to

    Remember unique passwords for each account, so consumers should consider using a password manager like Norton Identity Safe that stores your passwords in a secure, cloud-based vault.

  • Pay special attention to email credentials: Many users fail to recognize that

    their email account can be a front door to their entire digital life. Think about how many times you may have reset your password on some other site and the recovery link is sent to your email account. Ensure you use a particularly strong password with both characters and numbers for your email account. And don’t reuse it!

  • Enable two-factor authentication: Many websites now offer two-factor (or two

    step) authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter your password, plus a code that you will receive on your mobile device via text message or a token generator to login to the site. This may add complexity to the login process, but it significantly improves the security of your account. If nothing else, use this for your most important accounts.

    Our first line of defense from cyber criminals is our knowledge. Staying aware of the ongoing threats in the cyber world is a good first step towards keeping yourself safe. Remember to keep all your devices updated with the latest security software and use strong passwords.