A FAREHAM IT firm has offered advice in the wake of Yahoo admitting a major data breach.
The US internet giant said information from at least 500m user accounts had been stolen.
Nigel Taylor, chairman of Taylor Made Computer Solutions, said the data breach was a stark reminder that eliminating hacking is an ongoing challenge.
‘People take security for granted but hackers find new ways to get into data all the time,’ he said.
‘Although this breach has only just come to light, people will lose confidence and head to other, more secure suppliers so this is really going to focus the attention of the industry and hopefully lead to a fundamental change in online security systems.’
His advice to anyone with online passwords is to change them to a strong password using upper and lower case letters as well as numbers.
‘Don’t change your password too frequently as you will easily forget it and a strong combination of letters and numbers is the most reliable option,’ he said.
Mr Taylor said the long-term solution was to abandon the concept of security questions and instead follow the lead of the banks with apps and mobile verification methods.
He said: ‘So many companies have the same questions so if your data is hacked the chances are it will make other accounts easier to access.’
Yahoo said on Thursday that it believed a ‘state-sponsored actor’ stole information including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
Although this breach has only just come to light, people will lose confidence and head to other, more secure suppliers.
An investigation is still continuing into the breach, which Yahoo said happened in late 2014.
The company said that the stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information, which is not stored in the system that was targeted.
A statement released by Yahoo added: ‘The investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter.’