When’s the last time you changed your email password?
If you answered sometime between “Never” and “More than a month ago,” it might be time to refresh your cyber-security.
Google researchers announced last week that nearly a quarter-million passwords are stolen each week, according to Mashable. The study into that theft came after Google teamed up with University of California Berkeley cybersecurity experts to trace how and where hackers steal their data from.
The research published Thursday found hackers largely got their data from two methods; phishing attempts or “third party breaches,” such as the Equifax hack which led to millions of people’s personal information being compromised.
Google said they found that between March 2016 and 2017 about 12 million login credentials, which are usernames and passwords, were stolen through phishing and 3.3 billion credentials were taken during third-party breaches. That means even if you never clicked a dodgy link in an email, there’s still a chance your login info could be up for grabs on the black market.
At greatest risk are people who use the same password for more than one account, and who could find all their personal data or finances stolen from one compromised password.
Battling this means cutting down your risk by using multiple passwords, one per account, and cybersecurity experts say the many password managers out on the market can help you keep up with them. They also recommend taking advantage of two-factor authentication or associating your phone with your account so you can instantly be notified of any unusual activity on your account.