What appears to be the largest collection of passwords of all time was recently leaked on a forum popular with hackers. A user of the forum uploaded an enormous 100GB TXT file containing nearly 8.4 billion passwords. It is assumed that these passwords are a compilation from previous large scale data leaks and breaches, now combined into one single document.
If you suspect that your information may have been leaked in this breach, you can check using online tools such as Cybernews’ Personal Data Leak Checker although it is important to note that these tools aren’t always 100% accurate. Even if your information doesn’t appear compromised, it’s worth it to take precautionary measures to secure all of your online accounts.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your online security and safety:
1. Enable 2FA (two factor authentication). Enable 2FA across any and all of your online accounts that allow it. This simple security measure increases your security by allowing you to set up trusted devices, such as a cell phone, to receive verification codes whenever you log into your accounts. That verification code will be required to complete the login process to that given site, meaning that anyone who doesn’t have access to your devices won’t have access to your 2FA secured accounts.
2. Change your passwords. You can use a password management app to generate and store complex passwords to all of your accounts. Apps such as Bitwarden, Dashlane, and others have great free plans for password generation and storage.
3. Practice good online safety habits. Don’t click on any suspicious links that you receive through text or email, don’t give out your personal information to anyone you don’t know, and don’t download any files from sources you don’t recognize. If you’re ever in doubt from an official looking email, text message, or letter then call the organization the message is addressed from directly. Don’t call the number provided in the message, instead find the official organization’s website and call the helpline provided.
Read more information about the “RockYou2021” data leak by checking out this article written by CyberNews.