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Yahoo mail hack puts personal info at risk

04 February 2014 - 10:45 by Simon Crisp

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Yahoo Mail became the latest online email service to suffer a major hack, when late last month, it was announced that a breach had occurred affecting a potentially significant number of customers.

The company used Tumblr to publically reveal that its security had been compromised, although it was quick to point the finger at an as yet unnamed third party, which had reportedly been hacked first, to give the attackers access to Yahoo Mail login info that led to the subsequent incursion.

For the moment, the extent of the hack remains uncertain, but for users to be truly safe it is advised that they change their passwords as soon as possible.

Those who have been affected and do not take action immediately might find that personal data is stolen and exploited by malicious forces.

We now store a significant amount of private data online, especially with the rise of cloud-based webmail services. Every time you place an order via safe shopping online, send an invoice or communicate with friends and family, a record is created in the form of an email attached to your account.

As soon as someone gets hold of the username and password, they can get in and scour your library of messages for any pertinent information, which could lead to identity theft and fraud.

You should not be put off enjoying shopping online just for fear that your email account will be hacked, as this is a relative rarity. But changing your password once a month is not a bad idea, if you are concerned about the levels of security which are offered by your provider.

Major email providers being hacked is, thankfully, unusual, but people should be vigilant to all forms of cybercrime to keep their data safe.