Yahoo warns email users about “data security issue”

(WTNH) — Yahoo email users are now being warned their information may not be safe. The company sent users an email which said that crooks may have created fake cookies – files they could then use to access email accounts.

This is not the first time Yahoo users’ accounts may have been compromised. The company believes some of this breach is connected to the data theft last fall.

Rachel Foley is a nursing student at Quinnipiac University. On Wednesday she was working on her capstone project on her computer.

“Everything’s on there – my email, my social media, my phone,” said Foley. “I get messages from my phone here.”

Related Content: Yahoo issues another warning in fallout from hacking attacks

Foley was using her school email account. She does not have an account with Yahoo. Still, she tries to protect her information. She is concerned that some Yahoo accounts may have been breached.

“That’s scary,” said Foley. “I tend to be very careful about what I’m putting either my Quinnipiac email or my personal email into.”

Brian Kelly is the Chief Information Security Officer at Quinnipiac University. He says it isn’t just Yahoo users who should be concerned.

“We talked about a billion users being compromised a few months ago,” said Kelly. “Now they’re kind of expanding that, saying that the way they were compromised has changed.”

Kelly says a hacker would have to be somewhat sophisticated to be able to create the fake cookies. Those cookies could then be used to access an email account without a password. That is something that students with Yahoo accounts are worried about.

“That makes me really nervous because some things you can’t be private about,” said student Kaitlin Bannon. “I’m applying for jobs right now so I don’t want people knowing my information.”

Even if you think there is nothing valuable in your account, hackers could access your contacts – even if you do not use your account often. However, there are things you can do to protect your information.

“Public computers, library computers, things where others are going to have access, we recommend strongly not to have the browser save your password or have those cookies remember who you are,” said Kelly.

Yahoo has been stepping up security, and the company sent users information about the next steps to take. Experts recommend following the advice, which includes reviewing all accounts for suspicious activity and never clicking on links or downloading anything from an email that you’re not sure is secure.

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