Millions of emails hacked, 6 ways to protect your account

When was the last time you changed your email password?

Kristen Lassiter will be the first to admit that she hasn’t changed her email password in years.

"I email my son’s teacher quite a bit, so I really hope his personal info is not out there," says Lassiter.

It could be too late and if you have an email account, you could also be at risk.

A hacker, who goes by the name "The Collector" has stolen more then 272 million email passwords.

Tech expert, Willie Kerns, says it’s one of the largest security breaches in recent history, and it’s happening right now. He says "The Collector" is selling the information for just one dollar

"If your account gets breached today, more than likely it’s going to be available for purchase sometime in the next three to five days," Kerns.

If you’re worried about your account information, here are some things Kerns suggests you can do now to help protect it:

  • Change password immediately
  • Continue to change it at least every six months
  • Password should have a minimum of eight characters
  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Always use numbers and symbols

"When these credentials get published, it’s automated systems that are going and saying, ‘Okay, here’s a list of 10,000 passwords, and I’m going to try these against these 100 websites.’" says Kerns

Kerns says it’s also important to have a different password for all of your online accounts. It’s something Lassiter says she’s needs to fix.

"I’m guilty," says Lassiter. "I use the same one for everything and I’m going to change it today."

By doing this, Lassiter hopes her son’s private information stays private.

To check if your email was compromised in the data breach, click here. 

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