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Email Passwords at Risk

It may be time to change your password if you use a third-party service to power your email. According to Reuters, hundreds of millions of hacked user names and passwords for email accounts and other websites are being traded in Russia’s criminal underworld.

Accounts impacted include those from email services such as Mail.ru, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, according to the article, which said Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, discovered the breach.

If email accounts are compromised, fraudsters can then gain access to passwords for other accounts using the “forgot my password” feature – the passwords are sent to the user’s email address, which the hacker has access to.

Also troubling – many people use the same password across multiple accounts, as Reuters pointed out: “Hackers know users cling to favourite passwords, resisting admonitions to change credentials regularly and make them more complex. It’s why attackers reuse old passwords found on one account to try to break into other accounts of the same user.”

For online sellers, a compromised email account could prove devastating, so stay on your guard.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.