Thursday, December 5, 2013

Facebook, Twitter, Google: Millions of Passwords Leaked - Should You Worry?

Passwords lost to Malware...  Be proactive and secure


According to an NBC report, million of passwords have found their way into the wild, exposing those Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts to who knows what.

The passwords were not lost by the organizations themselves, but rather, they were discovered on computers that had malware intrusions.

But if you're one of those that might be in trouble, well, you might best think about changing your password.

It was also noted in the quick piece that people use STUPID passwords like '123456' and other such brilliantly devised protection schemes.

Hey, if you don't have a single valuable thing on your computer, then by all means, go for it and use easy passwords.  But if you've accessed your bank account or any other sensitive account from your computer, you might want to reconsider.

And picking passwords... aside from the all the hoopla about what to do and not to do, keep it simple and just pick something THAT ISN'T OBVIOUSLY RELATED TO YOU.

But that's me.

I have a database of passwords and I NEVER use the same password for any two accounts.

Yes, that's a pain in the *!!, but if I take my best protective measures, I can at least feel I've done something to thwart these butt sniffing evil-doers.

So how did these passwords get snagged from infected machines?

Easy... malware.
That's crap you pick up when you install useless things from untrusted sources.  (Can we say shareware?  I knew you could!) 

Surprisingly one can snag malware when they aren't paying attention to a reputable software install.

You'd be surprised how much crap is attached to regular software packages.  When I install Adobe stuff, McAfee malware* is usually attached.  The other day I had to install PhotoScape and damn, there's a lot of content that tries to install itself before the actual software does.

You have to pay attention... if you are in doubt, just say no to the offered and curious looking installation.  Worse case scenario, you start over.  Best case, the software moves on to install the actual app.  (I had to circumvent 2 or 3 side apps before getting to PhotoScape.  Which, btw, is a pretty decent free image manipulation app.  NO, not awesome... but for the price, it has some great features.)

*I call McAfee software jockingly, malware.  I accidentally let it through once, so I tried it out.  When it did its scan, it said see this link for results from my scan... and it was a page selling the sample product I just used and ZERO results.  (Besides, isn't this guy who created this company on the lamb from the law these days?)  Just wondering?

If you've cruised websites and thought about a "quickie" install of something that seems interesting (even though you weren't looking for it), well, there you go.  Hey, there's no such thing as a quick in and out if something is infected... if you get my drift.  If it's poisoned, you're poisoned, you're pc is poisoned, period.

One lax moment can be a lifetime's payment.

Yea, like that 5-second rule when food hits the ground.  I bet 5 seconds in battery acid might make you question that one!

Also, if you get one piece of malware, sometimes they go nuts and pull in more malware.

AND the number 1 silly reason for maybe having malware...

Cheap or no virus protection software.  That free Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware product you're using is free, and the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

If you want to see great examples of crap, I mean malware issues, check out this link where they take the pains to show what happened on one test system when they pretended to not pay attention...

It's worth the read.  >> .howtogeek.

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