Change those passwords now
By John Kendall, Security program director, Unisys Asia Pacific
New Zealand companies aren’t immune to the dangers of the internet, and the Yahoo Xtra breach demonstrates this far too well.
The Unisys Security Index found that 66 percent of New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details. The research also showed 66 percent are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to or misuse of their personal information. This is the exact kind of information people love to store in their email accounts, and the information the same cybercriminals that breached Yahoo Xtra are after.
Many people use the same or similar passwords across multiple technologies, bank accounts, email, Facebook – and that’s not a good idea. Using the same password over and over jeopardises you entire digital identity. New Zealanders should take the opportunity to learn from our most recent high profile breach and change their passwords now. And refresh those passwords regularly.
The real danger for people who have had their Yahoo Xtra logon details stolen is not just that unauthorised people may try to access their email account and infiltrate their contacts, it’s that they may try to use the information in their emails to gain access to other systems such as online banking and credit card details. Access to the kind of personal information that users keep in their email can prove a virtual gold mine for identity thieves, and those looking to target contacts of users for fraudulent purposes.
It’s time to change your passwords, and if you haven’t done it yet think of the exercise as a late New Year’s resolution.