Despite being irrelevant for the past 5 years, MySpace has hit the news again with its latest security breach. Any user data from June 2013 and earlier has been posted online to a hacker forum for all to see. The latest breach affects over 360 million user accounts and leaks include the user emails, passwords, and user names. Since a lot of people use the same login credentials over multiple sites this is no breach to scoff at.
If you are worried that your data might have been compromised, check out the website https://www.leakedsource.com/. Just enter in your email and it will tell you if you have been affected by the MySpace hack. If you have been compromised, the first thing you should do is try and change your username and password within MySpace. If you have used that login name or password for any other site, you should also change those login credentials as well, as a hacker could gain access to any website that has those credentials.
Here at Tech2U we take all privacy leaks very seriously and are here to help you protect yourself against them as well. On top of changing any affected passwords, it is best to get in good password habits. Using a free password management program like LastPass is a great way to keep complicated passwords stored easily for you across all of your websites.
Another great tip is to make your passwords very long, but, easy to remember. The nature of cracking a password by brute force is very simple, guess every possible combination it could possible be. So if your password is 3 letters long and uses only letters, there are 26 * 26 * 26 possible combinations, or about 17,576. This can be brute forced extremely easily by a program as there aren’t that many possible combinations. However, if we had a 15 letter length password that is something easy to remember, like “techtwouisgreat” that increases the number to 26^15 or 1,677,259,342,285,725,925,376 possible combinations! This is impossible to crack in a reasonable amount of time, even for a supercomputer! So come up with some awesome passwords and stay protected out there!
App of the Week:
Qapital is a free app on iOS and Android that helps you reach your savings goals. By rounding up any purchases, your savings account is always getting added to. With Qapital you can even create custom rules to help you save more. The app has no monthly fees or minimal balances.
News Anchor: While Myspace was the largest social network in the world until 2008, it’s been dwarfed, almost out of business by Facebook, LinkedIn, pretty much everything else. This may leave you thinking you can tune out news of the breach but Mike Wispy from Tech2U says otherwise. So, was that part of you think the hacker’s scheme was to get into Myspace thinking people have just abandoned it and left all that stuff behind?
Mike Wispy: In 2013 Myspace released a new version of their site which had way better security that it did previously. But all the user data like the passwords, the email addresses, things like that was captured by an online hacker and posted to a forum. So all the data prior to 2013 is up for sale.
News Anchor: So for those people, and many of us have Myspace accounts that we haven’t logged into for years, should we go back and delete the account? Change the passwords? Or is that too late?
Mike Wispy: Well, the data is there now. I would just generally recommend changing your password anyway because that’s going to make the data that they have useless to them. So, this is actually the largest data breach of all time, which is quite notable, 360 million different accounts were involved. That’s 427 million different passwords that are available up for sale on the general hacker’s forums. So the problem is that a lot of people use just one username and password. I don’t know if you do that but you shouldn’t.
News Anchor: Yeah, I use walt123abc.
Mike Wispy: There you go.
News Anchor: Just kidding. I just wonder if people, do people sometimes do something that simple?
Mike Wispy: It’s actually remarkable how many people do that.
News Anchor: And no kidding.
Mike Wispy: Just use one username and password for every site they have. Especially if they have an Gmail account or online email account. That actually is the key to all of you other accounts because you can reset the passwords and then the links go to that email address. So if you have access to that, you have everything.
News Anchor: So what should people do now? When you change your password obviously you want something that’s complicated.
Mike Wispy: Yeah, there’s a few things you can do. First of all just go to Leakedsource.com and make sure, you can put your email address in there and check to see if you’re on this hack list. But in terms of going on moving forward, use a password manager like LastPass.
News Anchor: LastPass. Okay.
Mike Wispy: What that will do is that will generate a randomly generated password for you. Really secure with numbers and special characters and uppercase, lowercase. Or you can just generate your own algorithms. So perhaps you can think of a phrase that you remember, a phrase that’s always in your head. And perhaps take the first letter of each of the words in that phrase, and then capitalize every other one, and then add some numbers. Maybe a memorable number for you like a birthday or some kind of number that’s your lucky number. And then a particular, maybe the website, you can take the first two letters of the website and add that into the password. So every password for every different site is completely different.
News Anchor: Have you logged onto Myspace or how can any people find out if they’ve been compromised themselves by the Myspace hack?
Mike Wispy: Well there’s a website called Leakedsource.com.
News Anchor: Leakedsource.com. So would you have to put in your personal information to find out if you’ve been compromised?
Mike Wispy: Well yes, that’s something you would be wary of…but just put your email address in there and it will tell you if you’re in that database. And if you are, or even if you’re not, just change your password because these things happen all the time. You know about the Target breach?
News Anchor: Yeah, sure. Absolutely.
Mike Wispy: There’s always something that comes up, so this is fresh. Use a password manager like LastPass and you’ll be good to go forever.
News Anchor: Okay, do you have any other app of the week? App of the day?
Mike Wispy: Yeah, we do have an app of the week. The app of the week this week is Qapital.
News Anchor: Qapital.
Mike Wispy: Now Qapital is spelled with a Q.
News Anchor: Oh, okay.
Mike Wispy: So it’s kind of confusing but it’s pronounced capital. You can go by qapital.com or iOS store or the Google store. It’s a banking app that lets you round up purchases to save. So let’s say a purchase is $2.50, it’ll round it up and put that 50 cents into a savings account. You can also create rules. Like every time you clock into work, it’ll put $5 into a vacation fund, things like that. So it’s kind of a simple if you do this you do that.
News Anchor: And you can set that up on the site?
Mike Wispy: Yeah, and it’s a free app, there’s no annual fees,or no minimum balance that you need to know. It’s all free.
News Anchor: Wow, that’s a good one. We like free and we like good ideas free. Mike Wispy, Tech2U, thank you so much. All right Amy, over to you.