Two million passwords stolen in social media hackings


By Aileen Choi, Staff Writer

When senior Marc Estevadeordal attempts to log into his Gmail account, all he sees are red words over a black box, spelling out “incorrect.” After several trials and lengthy troubleshooting, he finally logs into his account, only to realize that it now filled with spam mail.

With two million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in a recent hack, students should be aware of ways they can prevent from being hacked.

“I use the same or similar password for all my accounts,” Estevadeordal said. “That might be why I got hacked so easily.”

According to a Dec. 5 CNN article, using different passwords can prevent hackings.

Several different prevention methods can help students protect from hackers, including creating long, random phrase passwords with symbols and numbers for good measure.

According to the CNN article, changing your password “every six months” is an effective way to keep accounts in check.

Never click suspicious links and never email yourself important information, such as your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, or a master list of passwords; these messages still remain in archives.

According to the CNN article, downloading antivirus software, using a secure connection and using two-factor authentication systems protect accounts from hackers.

Anti-virus software can detect common schemes and scams, while using websites with secure connection–websites that begin with HTTPS–protects from eavesdroppers. Setting up two-factor authentication systems require two-steps every time you sign into an account, which protects from account hackers.

Although these tools may not be convenient or completely foolproof, it is better to utilize them instead of keeping your front door wide open to burglars. Of course, the possibility of being hacked still remains.

According to a May 2013 MNN article, several ways to deal with hacked accounts include removing the computer virus through antivirus software and updating all software and passwords.

“If I had known ways to prevent from being hacked, I would have done it a long time ago,” Estevadeordal said.