CHICO, Calif. - Yahoo announced on Tuesday that 3 billion accounts were hacked in 2013. They previously said that 1 billion accounts were hacked until they found that every single account had a data breach.
Zhaohong Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Computer Engineering at Chico State, was one of the victims of the data breach.
"3 billion, can you imagine that?" said Wang, "Almost three times the population of the United States."
Wang said he is not too concerned because he uses a different password for each account he has. Wang said that hackers usually target passwords for information.
"It is possible that you use the same password for an email account and a bank account," said Wang, "Another thing is a hacker may try to get your information to sell it."
Wang said it is not just email account hackers are after.
"They try to hack into your computers, your laptops," said Wang.
Wang said there are ways you can find out if you are being hacked. One way is to use a free website like Canary Tokens.
"The tokens purpose is to create some traps for the hackers," said Wang.
The site lets you create a fake document. You can name the document something that will capture the hacker's attention, like naming it "Passwords." If the hacker clicks on the document, Canary Tokens will notify you.
If you find out that you are being hacked, Wang said the next thing you need to do is turn off your computer. The next step would be to call a cybersecurity expert to assess what steps should be taken next.
Wang stresses the importance of using different passwords for each account, and to be wary of opening and downloading emails from strangers.