For years now we have been warning about people stealing Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, PlayStation Vue, and Sling passwords. Typically, they do this to turn around and sell them in both bundles of passwords and passwords to specific services. Now a new study gives us a look at how many people have had their passwords stolen.
This weekend Akamai released a new report showing just how many people have had their passwords stolen. According to Akamai, 1 TB worth of passwords and user names was published online. This file that was up for sale included 25 billion email address and password combinations for a long list of services. Once you remove duplicate accounts and unusable entries, there still were billions of user names and passwords available in this 1 TB file.
The people who buy these bulk accounts are turning around and selling access to services like Netflix for as little as $3.25 dollars.
There are a few ways your account is getting compromised. First, you may be using the same email and password on multiple sites. One of these sites may have become compromised and it was discovered that the user name and password also worked on Hulu, for example.
The other way people are getting user name and passwords is to put malware on your computer that looks for passwords to services they want access to.
What You Should Know
Someone may be using your account, and you don’t even know it.
When these accounts are sold, they tell people not to change passwords, add anything to favorites, or create a profile. Thankfully, the person who bought my account didn’t listen to them, which alerted me that someone was using my account.
How can you find out if someone is using your account?
The easiest way to see if people are using your account is to check your connected devices. Services like Hulu let you see all the linked devices to your account. There, you can remove them if you don’t know the device. If you find devices you do not own linked, you will not only want to remove them but also change your password. (They can always just log back in.) For example, you can find out how to do this on Hulu HERE. (Most services allow this option.)
Updates & Malware Removal
To help avoid getting malware on your computer (yes, even Macs) it is important to keep your computer up to date. Both Windows and Macs now allow you to automatically get updates. We suggest turning that option on if you don’t want to manually update your computer.
This also goes for phones because malware also targets phones just like they target computers.
Also, make sure your browser is up to date. If you see that orange or red notification in the top-right corner of Chrome make sure to restart Chrome so your browser has the latest security updates.
Lastly, make sure you have some type of malware removal tool on your computer. (Yes, even if you own a Mac. Today, there is a lot of malware targeting Macs.)
It is crucial to use a different password for your bank as you use on random sites. Although your bank may not be compromised, a small site could be. You may also want to start using a different password for sites like Netflix and Hulu versus a random chat group.
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