Living Social hack exposes dangers of using one password at multiple sites

Living Social hack exposes dangers of using one password at multiple sites

<p>It’s a mistake too many of us make. We get lazy, so we depend upon just one password to gain access to several different Web sites. This, though, is a hazardous tactic. A recent story by ars technica on a serious password breach at daily deals site LivingSocial.com explains just why this is.</p> <p><b>A LivingSocial.com breach</b></p> <p>The technology Web site ars technica recently featured this danger in its story on a serious password breach at LivingSocial.com. This site, which provides users daily deals on everything from cafes to hotel stays, was recently hacked. Cyber crooks exposed the passwords of as many as 50 million of LivingSocial’s users. This breach also left users’ e-mail addresses and names exposed.</p> <p><b>Changing Passwords</b></p> <p>After the breach, Tim O'Shaughnessy, chief executive officer of LivingSocial.com, advised that the site's users change the passwords they utilize to gain access to the deals site. He also advised that users change any passwords which they use to access other sites that are the same or similar to what they use to log into LivingSocial. This, as ars technica reports, is a bit of an understatement. If you use a similar password to log onto Netflix, LivingSocial.com and your online bank, stop reading this account and immediately go and change these passwords. And do yourself a favor — don't ever reuse a password from one site at another.</p> <p><b>A Hassle, But Important</b></p> <p>It’s bad enough if a hacker nabs your password at one site. But what if you use this same password at other sites? What if you use this same password at your online bank or credit union? You could be in a world of hurt as this hacker quickly uses your universal password to break into dozens of your favorite or most sensitive online sites. Yes, it’s not much fun trying to recall the dozens of passwords you will need as you make your way around the Internet. Even so, make the effort. It’s less fun to realize that a cyber criminal has utilized your password to empty your online bank account.</p>