Quora, a platform that lets you ask questions and get answers from people all over the world, was recently hacked and the accounts of about 100 million users have been compromised.
If you are on Quora, you might have noticed that you’ve been logged out suddenly and are prompted to change your password. The company has done this to ensure all users change their credentials to secure their accounts.
Quora has stated that the situation is under control now. This happened just after the Marriott data breach where details of 500 million guests were stolen, showing just how frequent such incidents have become.
The Quora data breach
Quora discovered the breach on November 30 and realized that some user data has been compromised. This data contained names, usernames, passwords, email addresses, IP addresses, account settings, and other details.
Quora also allows people to ask and answer questions anonymously. If you have used Quora anonymously, you are safe because Quora doesn’t record the details of anonymous users.
The company has created a team of digital security and forensic experts to launch an investigation. The law enforcement agencies have been notified and the analysis of the breach is currently going on.
What it could mean for Quora users
Since Quora doesn’t keep any credit card details or bank account information, the breach will not translate into a financial loss for you. However, all your answers might have become visible to third parties. This includes the answers you have kept as drafts, your activities, edits, and other details.
The only problem you might face is that your questions and answers will be visible to others. But since Quora prompted users to change their passwords, your account is secure now and the situation is under control.
How to stay safe from breaches
While Quora breach does not largely affect your life, you might not want certain answers to be seen. For example, you might have written a controversial answer but later decided to delete it.
After the data breach, all your account details are revealed to the hackers and they can see what you’ve written. Depending on their political or religious affiliations, they may not like it.
This can be a dangerous situation. To make sure this doesn’t happen here’s how you can stay safe on Quora and other sites similar to it.
- Use a fake name: Don’t use your real name on websites where you disclose your opinions and a large part of your life. While many users want to be famous on Quora and thus use their real names, it’s not good for their privacy.
When you have your real name on Quora or social media websites, it’s easy to track you down. A fake name will make things difficult for stalkers or hackers.
- Use a VPN: A VPN will hide your IP address. So even if a hacker gains access to your data, what they’ll see is a different IP address. This IP can be of a different country so your location cannot be found.
With a VPN, you can hide behind the IP of any country you want. Make sure you select a VPN with a large network.
The Quora data breach has been brought under control. But the next breach just might be around the corner. Make sure you use a VPN to stay protected from hackers and data breaches.