Yahoo announced on Thursday that it believes information associated with some 500 million accounts were stolen by hackers in 2014. Such news is highly alarming, especially for those who have Yahoo accounts for a myriad of reasons, whether it be for email, chat, or your Fantasy Football league. And if you do have a Yahoo account, here's how the Yahoo breach could affect you.
According to the statement released by Yahoo on Sept. 22, the company believes that a "state-sponsored actor" was behind the 2014 hack. Names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and birth dates of Yahoo account holders, as well as security answers, may have been obtained through the security breach. If you hold a Yahoo account, some of that personal information might be available on the dark web. However, Yahoo does not believe that banking and credit card data were part of the stolen information.
So, how do you know if this affects you? Yahoo said in its statement that it is "notifying potentially affected users and has taken steps to secure their accounts." Those steps include invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers as well as asking affected users to change their passwords. And if you do have a Yahoo account, you might as well change your password to be safe. It is also recommended that you change the passwords of your other accounts if you used the same password.
In fact, that may be one of the most serious ways in which the Yahoo hack could affect account holders, as hackers who have personal information can attempt to use the same login credentials on other platforms and accounts. Another recommendation for Yahoo users is to activate a two-factor authentication.
The amount of people who used Yahoo as their primary email account has been significantly waning over the years, and while it is not used as frequently by millennials, the hack is still bound to affect a number of them. And as millennials are notorious for being cavalier with data security and how they use their personal data on the web, according to a Gallup poll, you should definitely ensure that you're changing your passwords.