Have you changed any of your online passwords lately? It’s probably not a bad idea to do so. Recently, e-mail address and password data from Dropbox, an online collaborative file hosting service, have been leaked from a 2012 data breach.
The data leak has sparked other companies to be cautious about their users’ personal information. Spotify, a music streaming service, recently reset the passwords of an unspecified number of users. Although Spotify released a statement that ensures that their records are still secure, they took precautionary measures. Another site’s data breach may have compromised some of the passwords of Spotify users if they are using the same password for both services.
Dropbox’s data is currently circulating on various sites and has affected an estimated 68 million users.
Opera, a browser, was recently hacked as well, and 1.7 million user passwords were compromised. While having a web browser “remember me” is often an enticing offer, this practice puts your personal information at a higher risk.
Luckily, both sets of stolen passwords were hashed. In other words, they have to be cracked in order to be used and read. Only the simplest passwords will be 100% compromised in most bcrypt hashes.
Multiple sites have been founded to track data breaches by compiling compromised information. Have I been pwned? is one of those sites. If you want to know if your email address has been compromised, you simply type it in. You can also subscribe to notifications just in case your account is compromised in the future.
Only eight percent of Internet users do not recycle passwords, and these individuals are probably at the lowest risk for data compromise. For those who do recycle passwords, you may want to stop now.