Your personal data is at risk

If you’ve been reusing passwords or going back to old favourites, your personal data could be at risk, after a collection of more than 87 gigabytes of personal information was leaked online in one of the world’s largest data breaches.

The leak has been labelled ‘Collection #1’ and it contains a stockpile of 772,904,991 email addresses and 21,222,975 passwords.

Discovered by Troy Hunt, a security researcher and founder of the “Have I Been Pwned” service, the data dump has been called one of the largest data breaches in history.

Collection #1 contains login credentials that have been stockpiled since 2008, with information sourced from over 2000 different sources, Mr Hunt said on his blog.

Internet users can check if they’ve been affected by entering their email address on Have I Been Pwned.

If you’ve reused old passwords or use the same password over multiple platforms, including social media, email and website subscriptions, a potential hacker can use those passwords to hack your newer accounts.

Potential hackers that have access to massive amounts of login data use ‘bots’ to break into your accounts through a technique called ‘credential stuffing’, which automatically blasts multiple services with the same set of login information.

If you have reused those old passwords for different platforms, to prevent a potential hack, tech experts recommend that you change them now or use a password manager that can automatically generate secure passwords.

Read more at www.cnet.com

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