Local Security Experts Discuss How To Avoid Getting Hacked

With news this week that another billion Yahoo e-mail accounts have been hacked, we thought we’d check in with some Lake Michigan College security experts to find out what you can do to keep your information safe online. Derrick Griffin is LMC’s Assistant Security Engineer, and tells WSJM News one big tip is to have a good password.

“Make sure you change your password as often as you can, a couple times a year,” Griffin said. “Make sure you’re using complex passwords. Use numbers, pass phrases, special characters. Use different passwords for every site you go to. Whether it be e-mail, shopping sites, or banking sites. Don’t reuse the same password.”

LMC Chief Information Officer Randall Melton tells us if your e-mail account is hacked, the contents of any message you’ve sent may also have been hacked.

“Never put anything in an e-mail that you’re not prepared to read in tomorrow’s news somewhere,” Melton said.

Melton says that means don’t put personal information like a full name or social security number in an e-mail. He also notes it’s important not to use the same security backup questions at different sites, as a hacker could simply use the information they get from one account to break into your other accounts. Griffin tells us there are some warning signs you’ve been hacked.

“The biggest thing is look for suspicious activity,” Griffin said. “If you see e-mails coming in that you’ve never been to sites of, or if you have e-mails about bank accounts, say, something you haven’t purchased, definitely use that suspicious activity and contact your bank and your credit card companies right away.”

To keep track of all your passwords, both experts recommend a password manager, like Last Pass. They also say you should be sure to change your router password from whatever its default was. You can find out if your e-mail has been hacked at HaveIBeenPwned.com.