I wasn’t sure whether or not I should blog about this, but in the end I’m deciding to do so because I feel like it’s an important lesson to learn, and I’m a good example of what can happen. My email and eBay passwords were hacked last week, and someone sold fake items using my ID and routed the money to his own account. The reason he was able to do this is because I had the same password for email as I did for eBay. Luckily I was able to get everything sorted out, but it was frightening to know that someone had some of my information. I don’t want to go into more details here, but I do want to mention these tips:
- Use SECURE passwords: mixed case, numbers, special characters, etc.
- Don’t use a word as your password! Use an acronym that’s easy for you to remember, but difficult for someone else to guess or to hack with a dictionary search.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- DON’T use the same password for everything! Especially do not use the same password for a combination of accounts (email + eBay) that would allow someone to pretend to be you.
That last point is so important – I was using a fairly secure password, but he was able to obtain one password and then use it to get into the other account since they were the same. Also, if you have a feeling that something isn’t right with your accounts or your information, persue it! Don’t give up until you feel better about it. Constant vigilance!