Millions of passwords stolen; protect your data

Posted at 5:33 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 19:38:42-04

CINCINNATI -- It’s being called one of the biggest stashes of stolen email names and passwords since the commercial cyber attacks of 2014: someone in the Russian underworld was found selling more than 272 million user names and passwords.

Cyber security expert Apolonio Garcia said many people haven’t been paying attention to their own security. They face possible identity theft and financial fraud.

“If this is your wakeup call, then you’ve missed a few alarms,” he said.

According to Garcia, the hackers send out an email or a link that looks legit, but anyone who clicks on it opens a door for the hacker to walk in.

“So one the bad guys are in your computer, it’s a simple matter for them access your passwords and get into all of your accounts,” Garcia said.

He shared three important tips:

  • Change all your passwords.
  • Download an “authenticator,” which regenerates a different access code every few seconds, making it nearly impenetrable. Most service providers have them for free.
  • Never reuse the same user name and password.

Hackers have been amassing the millions of stolen passwords for years, and they’re still selling them. Garcia said most of the stolen records have been seen before.

Check out more tips to keep your online info safe here.