A digital expert from Carlton is urging Yahoo users to follow a series of steps to ensure their account is safe after the internet firm admitted this week as many as 500 million user accounts could have been hacked.
Geoff Wing, who advises big firms in London about digital innovation, shares steps you can take to try and make sure your account and devices are secure from hackers.
What to do if you’re a Yahoo user?
He said: “If you have used a Yahoo service then I would suggest it might be wise to scan your device for malware
“Once this is done, change your Yahoo password as soon as possible. If Yahoo suspects your account was compromised, it will prompt you to change your password immediately.
“Because security questions were compromised, Yahoo is suggesting you change them too.
“Make sure you use a password that’s difficult to break like lengthy combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Aim for around 10-15 characters.”
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Geoff explained that this is to avoid “dictionary attacks” where hackers can run programs that apply every word in the dictionary to accounts to try and break in.
He said :“If this doesn’t work, hackers then tend to move on to the next account.”
Beware of scam emails
Geoff said that scammers may start taking advantage of the breach by sending emails pretending to be from the internet giant in a bid to obtain personal information.
He said: “If you do click any links in suspicious emails then play attention to the web address at the top of the page. If this looks odd, is excessively long or doesn’t seem to relate to the purpose of the page then it could be a fake site.
“Don’t open any attachment in an email that you may suspect is fake, it could contain a virus that will allow others to access your details on the computer. If you’re worried this has happened, conduct a virus scan straight away.”