Recently it seems as though all the social networks have had data breaches, social media hacks or passwords stolen, with the latest being Twitter, which has apparently had 32.8 million supposed usernames and passwords stolen and shared with LeakedSource.
But don’t panic yet
According to Twitter they are confident that the usernames and passwords weren’t taken through a data breach and that their systems have not been hacked.
So what happened?
It’s likely that the details were stolen by malware running on browsers, mainly because they are written in plaintext, and LeakedSource has claimed that the majority affected are from Russia.
Other social networks in a panic
Facebook and Netflix are apparently forcing people to change their account passwords, with concerns that many people use the same password for multiple accounts, presumably following the LinkedIn breach of 117 million user account details where login details were leaked on the dark web. Both companies are adamant however that they themselves have not had security breaches.
In an interesting turn of events, Facebook’s very own Mark Zuckerberg fell victim recently, when a hacker claimed to have accessed Zuckerberg’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts because he used the same password on each platform.
So what are they doing about it?
According to security researcher Graham Cluely, Facebook users are being shown the following message: “Recently, there was a security incident on another website unrelated to Facebook. Facebook was not directly affected by the incident but your Facebook account is at risk because you were using the same password in both places. To secure your account, you’ll need to answer a few questions and change your password. For your protection, no one can see you on Facebook until you finish.”
Whereas Netflix is emailing members claiming: “We believe that your Netflix account credentials may have been included in a recent release of email addresses and passwords from an older breach at another company. Just to be safe, we’ve reset your password as a precautionary measure.”
Is there anything I can do?
Yes. With social media hacks becoming seemingly more common, using the same password across multiple platforms is a big no-no. If you do this and a hacker has access to one platform, the have access to them all. That means your personal details and even card details if you have them stored online.
Here are some tips:
- Have a different password for each site you use, and if you need to save them all in a document, make sure that is password protected too!
- Don’t make your password easy to guess, like common passwords such as Welcome1 or Password123.
- An unusual, memorable sentence is more reliable than a password made of upper and lower case letters and numbers. For example, ‘The flying brown cow’ is more secure than ‘W3Lc0m3@!’
Want to know more? Here’s a guide to creating a strong password.
[Image credit: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter Gil C / Shutterstock.com]