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What TWC email users should do amid data breach

Time Warner Cable announced late on Wednesday that 325,000 of their email users should change their passwords as a precaution. The cable giant said in their statement that hackers might have gained access to those passwords, which could adversely impact that large chunk of users. While Time Warner Cable said in a statement that they had found, “no evidence of a breach in its systems that operate and secure email accounts for our customers” the company had still notified the FBI pointing out that, “some of our customers’ email addresses, including account passwords, may have been compromised.” It’s unclear how the passwords could have been compromised at this point. However, many security analysts have said that data breaches at other companies could have led to these passwords being compromised. Whether the breach was direct or indirect – the only thing that really matters at this point is keeping user’s information safe. To get some answers to basic questions about being secure on the Internet we looked no further than our very own Lead Developer Thom Prati. With the range digital services that FingerLakes1.com, Inc. offers in addition to news coverage readers have grown accustomed to – he is positioned uniquely to speak to the concerns many have when they hear about a data breach like the one facing Road Runner email users today. When we asked Thom how concerned Road Runner email users should be at this point, given how little information is available – he said, “As long as you’ve changed your password as soon as you could since the breach, it’s unlikely that the hackers had time to access every account’s e-mails and process anything from them.” The sheer volume of accounts involved would make it difficult to do anything substantial with them in that short period of time. People are used to hearing “Change your password as soon as possible,” but many still wonder what else they should be doing to protect themselves – especially when it comes to email accounts. Thom suggested using an email client, like Mozilla Thunderbird, which is free, or even an app on your phone setup as POP3. This provides an extra layer of protection between the user and the sensitive information. Thom said of compromised accounts that, “Typically you won’t see anything unusual immediately. If they breached the server to use the accounts on it, they are likely sending out e-mails as you, usually to spread viruses or spam. You’ll get feedback within a day or two with undeliverable notices you don’t remember sending.” One certainty though is that nothing beats a strong password. The network and development teams at FingerLakes1.com, Inc. suggest using a password that includes a chain of three unpredictable words – along with a number, and scattered capitalized letters. This would look like, “beaRlakEtapE1980.” The capitalized letters and placement of the number could all be interchanged in that example – and while no password is full-proof there’s a lesser chance of a password like this becoming compromised. Learn more about the website development and e-mail/website hosting services offered at FingerLakes1.com, Inc. by visiting http://services.fingerlakes1.com.

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