In what is being called the “mother of all breaches,” security experts have reported that a massive database of nearly 773 million unique email addresses and more than 21 million unique passwords was recently posted to an online hacking forum. Referred to as “Collection #1,” it appears that the data didn’t come from a single source, site, or company but is an aggregation that includes fully exposed passwords.

What does this mean for the average person? It means compromised email and password combos are out there and available for a practice called credential stuffing. This is when stolen email/password combos are used to hack into multiple accounts.

If you use the same username and password on multiple accounts, you are vulnerable to this kind of attack.

The first thing you can do is to check if your email accounts have been compromised as part of the Collection #1 breach at the following website:

Next, if you haven’t checked your accounts recently, take a moment to review all of your bank and credit card accounts for suspicious activity. If you see unauthorized charges, freeze or cancel your cards and let the bank know what happened so they can put further protections in place. If you have multiple accounts that use the same password, update each one with new, unique ones.

The big takeaway from this story is that good online security measures are just as important as ever – if not more so. Create strong passwords, don’t reuse the same passwords across multiple websites, enable two-factor authentication when you can, do not allow shopping sites to store your login and payment information, and invest in a trusted password manager program like LastPass or 1Password to help you do it.

In this age where hackers are a continual threat, it’s necessary to be as vigilant in your activities online as you are in the real world. Good password behavior and diligence using your accounts is the best thing you can do to protect yourself. If you suspect one of your accounts might have been hacked, please read this article for a checklist of what to do. And for any questions about your Softcom account security give us a call at (800) 982-7675 or 1 (888) 4-SOFTCOM, we’re here to help.