Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is encouraging consumers to change their passwords following the announcement of a breach affecting eBay users’ passwords.
“A data breach doesn’t necessarily mean identity theft, but it’s a good idea to take common-sense steps to protect your personal information,” DeWine said. “A good place to start is by changing your password and creating a different password for each of your accounts.”
DeWine offered consumers the following tips:
• If you are an eBay user, change your password. If you have used the same password for other accounts, consider changing those passwords as well.
• Choose a different password for each of your online accounts.
• Create passwords that are long and complex, using a variety of numbers, letters, and characters. Rather than choosing a word, consider picking a familiar phrase and using the first letter of each word, followed by a random number. For example, you could use the phrase “My dog’s name is Brutus!” and choose the password, “MdniB!579.”
• Change your passwords often.
• Don’t store passwords or account username reminders on smartphones or computers. This personal information could be compromised by a computer virus.
• Beware of possible scams related to the breach. For example, watch out for email or text messages that instruct you to click on a link to “change your password.” Some scammers may use the breach as ploy to get you to click on malicious links.
Consumers who want additional information or those who suspect identity theft should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. The Ohio Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit helps victims rectify the effects of identity theft.