If you've ever signed up for an account with Yahoo, there's cause for concern. The company confirmed today, after Recode broke the story last night, that 500 million user accounts were breached in a massive hack.
That's larger than the population of the United States and Mexico combined.
Yahoo says the attack likely included email addresses, passwords, names and phone numbers — not payment card data or bank account information.
But our email accounts are packed with personal information. We send people we trust our account details for all kinds of services over email, and whether it's as benign as a Netflix password or as potentially devastating as a pornography website login or credit card number, we expect our email accounts to be password protected and private.
If you have a Yahoo account, here's what you should do.
Change all your passwords
Not just your Yahoo account. Make a list of all the online accounts where you store sensitive information. Update all your passwords to make them long and strong. Be sure to give each separate account a unique password, too. No repeats.
The best way to keep track of all your new passwords is with a password manager, which stores all your account details in an encrypted vault on your smartphone and your desktop. You can find some great free or extremely cheap ones online. Do some digging and find an option that works best for you.