Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- If you're among the millions of Americans using Yahoo's email service, as I do, there's a chance your username and password might have been compromised in a recent hack.
First off, if your account was among the affected, administrators have already reset your password. When you try to log onto Yahoo mail on the web, or through a 3rd party email application, you will be prompted to change your password.
If you use the Yahoo email app, the same will apply, along with a prompt from Yahoo to add a 2nd form of verification, typically a mobile phone number that will remain unpublished online.
When you do change your password, be sure to use at least one capitalized letter, at least one number, and a punctuation mark, to make guessing your password impossible.
If you have used the same password for other online accounts, such as social networks or bank accounts, you should change those passwords as well, especially if you have used your Yahoo email address.
Closely monitor all account statements from banks, store credit card companies, and the like. Alert your financial institution to any fraudulent activity immediately.
If you're browsing the internet, be on alert for phishing attempts by scammers. Windows could pop up claiming your computer is infected by malicious software, encouraging you to click a button to "run a scan" - don't click anything other than Close on these, as your one click on their button might install malicious programs on your computer, or even open up your computer to hackers.
In addition, you should never respond to any emails requesting personal information of any kind, whether it be an address, a phone number, or even asking for bank account information or date of birth. Never provide any information of this kind in an email.
If your receive a text message from an unrecognized number asking for information, or requesting you click on an included internet link, the best advice is again to not click on any link or respond in any way. Just delete the sent text message.