The bad news: this is the biggest dump ever known of usernames and passwords available to fraudsters.
The not-quite-so-bad news: this list of 3 billion records is a compilation of what's already been out there on the dark web — only now it's all in one place.
So this is a reminder to update your old passwords, never use the same password on different sites, and consider subscribing to a password manager.
Want to refresh your memory about passwords and the dark web? Click on the thumbprint below to take a true/false quiz.
What questions do you have about staying safe online?
Here's what some of your colleagues are asking.
I keep getting calls to my cell, when I answer no one is there and when I call the number back they are disconnected. Numbers are from my area code. — Louie N.
Scammers often create fake numbers that appear to use the same area code and prefix as your mobile number, thinking you'll be more apt to answer the call. One solution is to use an app like Nomorobo, Hiya, Truecaller, NumberGuru, and RoboKiller to block unknown calls and texts. Mr. Number, Caller ID, and Numler are among the apps you can use to identify callers you don't recognize. Most of the apps require a paid subscription.
Is there real value to paying for anti-virus software for my router? — Robert M.
Modern routers, which are those electronic boxes used to bring the internet and cable TV into your home, are well protected. The most important step you can take is to assign your router a long, complex password. Check the manual to learn how. If you've lost the manual, do a web search for the router's make and model. Many newer routers allow you to approve any device that connects to it and to create a separate password for guests, limiting their ability to modify the router's settings.
Can hackers get your personal information from Facebook? — Imogene C.
You bet they can. Hackers love Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms because so many of us post personal information they can use to steal our identities. Protect yourself. In your Facebook "settings" panel, make sure only "friends" can see what you post, not "the public." Then, avoid posting personal information like your upcoming travel plans and photos that identify your kids' activities. Also skip those Facebook polls, surveys, and quizzes.
How secure is Keychain on my Mac? — Linda S.
Keychain is the place where Mac computers store many usernames and passwords. It's secure, all right, as long as the password to access your Mac is strong and entering that password is required to access your Mac every time you turn it on. If you use Apple's Safari browser and misplace a password, Keychain should have a record of it.
The Richland County Cybersecurity Team is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe online. If you think you've clicked on a phishing email, an urgent text message, or received a suspicious voice mail, alert your supervisor right away so we can check it out.
Aware Force Cybersecurity News • February 2021 b • Edition #114
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