The most recent update update from Sony unfortunately confirms the worst fears of many. Between April 17th and 19th an “unauthorised person” gained access to the personal information of Sony’s more than 70 million customers. The information confirmed stolen is as follows:
– Email address
– date of birth
– PlayStation Network/QRiocity login name and password and online ID
Information “possibly obtained”:
– Billing address
– Purchase history
– PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security question responses
– all above data for any dependent accounts (your children’s sub-accounts)
Although there is no evidence at this time that payment card information has been accessed, Sony are “unable to rule out this possibility” and are advising their customers accordingly.
What does this mean for you? Well if you’re the type of person who tends to reuse your password across multiple web sites today’s the day to get out there and start changing that password and breaking that habit. Criminals now have your email address and common password, they may also have the answers to your security questions, which also tend to get reused.
It is never a good idea to use the same password across multiple web sites, so try to have a unique one for every site you use. While this may sound complex and impossible to remember there is simple way to acheive this. Create a complex password using upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as $%&!. Devise a way to differentiate your password for each site you use, for example putting the first and last letters of the web site name at the beginning and end of your initial complex password, making it unique yet easy to remember
As for those security or password reset questions, this is also one of the most common ways to break into an account. If you are asked to provide answers to “Security questions” consider whether the answers are really secure. Secure means that you are the only person who can answer the question. If the possibility exists to create your own questions, use it. If you are obliged to answer more standard questions such as “First school”or “First pet” remember the answer doesn’t have to be the truth, it only has to be something you can remember.
Aside from this, given the nature of the warning from Sony keep aeather eye on your bank statements for any unauthorised activity.