Attorney General Mark Brnovich is advising all Arizona residents to take immediate steps to protect their personal information online.
This comes after security researcher Troy Hunt discovered nearly 773 million emails and more than 21 million passwords have been exposed in an online database known as Collection #1. This database appears to include records from many prior data breaches and thousands of different sources.
Among other crimes, cybercriminals might use the data exposed in Collection #1 to commit “credential stuffing,” by which a username and password combination from one account is used to try hack into other accounts. This is dangerous to individuals who use the same email and password combination for multiple accounts. Consumers should review all of their online accounts and to change their passwords as necessary.
Attorney General Brnovich offers these tips with respect to online safety:
- Create strong passwords, update them often, and create unique and different passwords for each account.
- Immediately change passwords that have been exposed and consider changing other passwords, too.
- Monitor credit card and debit card activity closely. Immediately report any suspicious activity to the bank or card company.
- Be cautious when storing passwords. Do not keep written passwords in plain sight. Consider using a password manager to store a long list of unique passwords.
- Limit the amount of personal or sensitive information posted on social media. This information, such as birthdays, can be used to authenticate an account.
- Enable two-factor authentication. Many websites now offer more than just a password (a single factor) to verify a user’s identity. Enabling these additional features or factors provides additional security for your online accounts.
- Remain vigilant and take proactive steps to ensure your online safety.