On December 14, 2016, Yahoo revealed that more than one billion Yahoo user accounts may have been stolen by hackers in August 2013. At least 500 million user accounts were compromised in a separate attack in 2014.
The information stolen included phone numbers, birthdates, email addresses, phone numbers and security questions and answers. The stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.
With more than a billion accounts at risk, this hack is the largest of all time.
Hackers are able to use the stolen information to try to open credit card accounts. When that happens, the bank will run a credit check.
It is strongly recommended that users (non-users as well) place a freeze on their credit report and use a company that monitors their credit.
With a freeze placed on their credit report, people will be alerted if a bank is trying to run a check and can flag that it wasn’t a legitimate request.
Yahoo has encouraged users to review all of their online accounts for suspicious activity. Yahoo additionally suggested that users change their passwords and security questions and answers for any other accounts on which they use the same or similar information used for their Yahoo account.