Yahoo’ve been hacked – Yahoo in largest ever reported data breach

Posted by Ben Tumilty in Identity Theft on 16 December 2016 - Ben is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

In the last two years, we have already been alerted to data breaches at Three Mobile, Tesco Bank, TalkTalk, Morrison’s, Steam and Sage, amongst others. The scale of these hacker attacks have varied. But none have come close to the newest report.

A data breach from 2013 relating to data of more than one billion Yahoo accountholders has been reported by the internet company this week. Yahoo are no stranger to being a target for hackers; in 2014, a similar breach occurred, with over 500m Yahoo accounts being affected.

Yahoo has said the hack occurred in August 2013, and has confirmed that any of the following details could have been accessed: user names, emails, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords, and answers to security questions. The company has assured the public, however that payment and bank account details were not compromised, as these are held on a different system.

It may not just be Yahoo accounts that are affected – they also provide email accounts for a number of their partners, including BT and Sky UK. Yahoo has ensured that those accounts who may be affected are required to change their passwords, so you would likely be notified upon login that your need to do this. There are other steps you can take, however.

It would also be worth changing your security questions – not just on Yahoo, but on other websites or services where similar answers may be required. Due to the level of information that may be at risk – including being able to see emails from elsewhere and to reset passwords – changing as much information as possible that may have been compromised is highly advisable.

Although they may not have directly been affected, Yahoo has recommended thoroughly checking your bank and credit card statements for suspicious transactions.

Additionally, checking your credit file is highly advisable – the level of data at risk may not be enough for fraudulent applications for credit to be made, but we would always advise making sure that you recognise all credit account entries and credit application searches on your file. If there are entries you do not recall as your own then the best course of action is to query the entry with the lender reporting it in the first instance.

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