Security Alert: Hackers Steal 7 Million Dropbox Passwords

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dropbox passwordPopular Web-based file-hosting and sharing service Dropbox recently fell victim to a major security breach.  Cybercriminals stole Dropbox passwords and login details from some 7 million users. The hackers reportedly threatened to release the Dropbox passwords to the public unless a ransom was paid. However, Dropbox claimed that it had not been hacked, and that the user account details were stolen from associated third-party websites.

As with any major security breach, reputable companies should work tirelessly to minimize the damage.  Dropbox has a number of measures in place to detect suspicious login activity. For example, when someone tries to log in from a different country or IP address they will block access and ask you to change your Dropbox password and login details.

Are You at Risk?

Whether or not the Dropbox passwords breach affects you, online accounts of any type are at risk. Risk is, to some extent, beyond your control. There are, however, good habits that you should get into in order to lessen the risk on your end.  Most online threats are targeted towards consumers.  They are designed to take advantage of those who are less familiar with online security.

It doesn’t help that most of us have a huge number of online accounts.  Services like email, online banking, social media, and file-sharing, to name a few. Having to remember so many usernames and passwords is often not easy.  This is why many people use the same login information for every online account.  Using the same password for everything is a major security concern.  This is likely why so many Dropbox users suddenly found their accounts open to hackers.

You have different passwords for every online account, particularly those that deal with any personal or financial information.  Your passwords should also be strong.  A strong password is one that cannot be hacked using a dictionary attack, or other methods that try combinations until they get the right one.  A strong password is at least eight characters long, and makes use of letters and numbers without relying on known words or names. In other words, a good password is one that even a machine cannot guess within a human lifetime.  The time it takes to hack such a password increases exponentially along with the number of possible character combinations.

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