Why changing your password in response to a hack like Anthem doesn’t matter

Why changing your password in response to a hack like Anthem doesn’t matter

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Yes, you’ve heard the news – Anthem was hacked and up to 80 million users’ personal information has fallen into the hands of data thieves.  When you start taking into account all of the other data breaches like Target, Ebay, Home Depot, Sony and many others (great visual representation of hacked data here) you realize that the entire population of the Unities States’ identity has been stolen at least once (statistically speaking anyway).  That being said, your information is already long gone.  So what advice do most risk managers provide you –  change your password.

Changing your password has no effect

Changing your password has no effect on the information that was stolen and hackers really are not concerned with your password.  What they want is your personal information. Social security numbers, dates of birth, pictures, addresses, driver license numbers and much more.  All of this information can be sold on the black market or used by the hacker to open credit cards, bank accounts, rent apartments, buy cars, move drugs across state lines, avoid law enforcement detection and much more.  The data they steal is much more valuable than your Facebook post about what you had for lunch yesterday.  Even your bank account is most likely worthless as most of American’s live paycheck-to-paycheck and have an average family saving account value of $5,900.00.  A credit card with a $10,000 limit is of much more value, not to mention if a hacker actually drains your bank account, the likelihood that they will be noticed increases twofold.

Yes, change your password

Yes, changing your password is a good idea and yes, you should do it.  While it won’t undo what has been done, leaving your password the same is only asking for trouble.  You should plan on changing your password on a regular basis, say once every 90 days or so.  Creating strong passwords will help defend you against brute force attacks and hackers who are trying to single you out.  If you can’t think of a password on your own, you can always use Norton’s free password generator.

 

 

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