1.4 Billion Passwords In A Single File – What Now?!

Wow – this one is painful.

A ton of news sources, including Forbes, have been reporting that a single 41Gb file listing 1.4 billion passwords has been discovered floating around the dark web.

Even worse, it looks like these passwords have been circulated in plain text – meaning that anyone who wants to could potentially have access to 1.4 billion passwords without even having to crack encryption.

Where did these come from? According to Forbes: The data is not from a single incident. The usernames and passwords have been collected from a number of different sources. {they come from sites such as} Netflix, Last.FM, LinkedIn, MySpace, dating site Zoosk, adult website YouPorn, as well as popular games like Minecraft and Runescape.

“OK,” you say, “I’m freaked out. What do I do?”

Truth is, not much to be done here. Especially because these passwords could go back a long time.

That being said – here are three incredibly important steps to take:

  1. Use a password manager. I love Dashlane. It’s worth paying for, because then you can use it on web, mobile, desktop. It’s cool, and worth every single penny.
  2. DO NOT reuse passwords. That’s how bad guys are going to most effectively use this huge password dump. If you have reused a password on multiple sites, now’s the time to get in there and take a minute to change it.
  3. Delete old accounts you no longer use (like MySpace. At this point I just can’t see a reason to have an active MySpace account). Only maintain accounts on sites you use, and change those passswords every 6 months (using Dashlane or equivalent) or when there is a breach.

Last tip: Don’t panic. Be concerned. Take some action. Protect yourself as much as you can. But don’t panic.

This is a brutal story, but it’s not the first or last time this will happen. It’s the world we live in now. Action is more important than emotion at a time like this.

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, concerns, etc, hit me up in the comment section!

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