Quora Data Breach: What You Need to Know
The intrusion could put 100 million users at risk for phishing and account takeovers
The question and answer website Quora says hackers have breached its systems, potentially exposing the personal information of 100 million users.
The company says in a blog post that it discovered the intrusion Friday. The data exposed includes usernames, email, and hashed—or scrambled—passwords. It also could include data from linked networks, such as social media accounts, authorized by individual users.
The data also includes each user's public content, such as questions and answers, along with nonpublic content, such as answer requests and direct messages, though the company says that feature isn’t used by many people.
Tips for Quora Users
Here are some other ways to protect your personal information:
- Make sure you set a strong password. Long strings of random characters are best. If you’re going to have a tough time remembering it, think about using a password manager.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious email. If nothing else, breaches like Quora’s give cybercriminals a treasure trove of new email addresses they can target with scam email, Gula says. And just a reminder: Phishing spikes during the holiday season. What looks like a shipping notification or pitch from a charity could actually be an attempt to steal your information or infect your computer with malware.
- Think about deleting old online accounts. Many people may have set up a Quora account years ago, then forgot about it. While it won’t change anything about the recent data breach, Quora will let you delete your account and all of the information the company has about you. You can also get a download of your Quora data if you want to see exactly what the company has.
- In the future, think before you hand over personal information. Social media networks such as Facebook and tech behemoths like Google are collecting your information. And you don’t have much say about where it goes and how it’s secured after that. The less personal data you share, the less likely it will be stolen.
You’ve Been Hacked
Have you experienced suspicious activity on your online accounts? On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Thomas Germain explains how to take back control of your digital privacy.