Scam of the day – June 24, 2014 – Japanese app accounts hacked

Line is a popular phone messenger app in Asia where four hundred million people, mostly in Japan, use it to make free phone calls, send instant message, post photos or post videos.  Between May and June there were hundreds of hackings into the accounts of Line users, however, it does not appear that there was a security breach at Line.  Rather, it seems that hackers managed to steal the passwords of Line users from other online services and, where those passwords were also used for Line, were able to access their victims’ Line accounts.  This case strongly indicates why it is so important to have a different and complex password for all of your accounts.  Identity thieves rely on the fact that so many people use the same password for all of their accounts so if they are able to hack into a company with lax security and obtain customers’ passwords, they can use those passwords elsewhere, such as for online banking where the harm can be significant.

TIPS

It is important to have distinct, separate passwords for all of your online accounts.  It is also important to make sure that they are complex and that they combine capital letters, small cap letters, digits and symbols in order to make them able to withstand the password deciphering programs used by identity thieves.  To make them easy to remember, you may wish to use a phrase, such as “EasyToRemember1***.”  You can also adapt this password to each of your accounts, such as making “EasyToRemember1Amazon***” your password for your Amazon account.

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