ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – A group of Russian hackers has stolen more than one-billion internet usernames and passwords.
And while that is not the shocker it used to be, it is still unsettling, especially since in this case the Milwaukee-based security company that discovered the Russian-based hack is not releasing the names of the websites that have been hit.
So what can you do to stay safe on the internet?
'Unfortunately what we found is over the past couple decades we`ve been teaching people how to make passwords that are hard for humans to remember but easy for computers to crack,' said Dave Chronister, managing partner at Parameter Security, a cyber-security company based in St. Charles.
He says when it comes to passwords, using a long phrase is easier to remember and more effective than shorter random passwords.
'If I just use for example, `may the force be with you`, with spaces, exclamation point, capital letter, that is going to be a 30 character password,' he said.
Chronsiter also says it`s alright to repeat passwords on sites where impersonating you would have little value to anyone else, saving bigger and more complex passwords for sites like credit card companies and banks.
While some say this latest hacking incident is prompting them to change their passwords, others are starting to adopt an attitude of defeat.
'This is just how the world is now,' said computer user Brandon Christen. 'If someone out there has my information I just hope their sites don`t settle on me to use it.'