Back in 2009 I used to write for Associated Content today I received an email from Yahoo informing me that they had been hacked and all my personal data had been released along with 450,000 other Associated Content freelance writers.
As mentioned in the description above back in 2009 I wrote for Associated content, With Associated Content I made quite a good income. That came to an end when they became associated with Yahoo and no longer paid freelance writers outside of the United States. As I lived in Canada I stopped writing for Associated Content.
Two years after the association between Yahoo and Associated Content Yahoo purchased Associated Content. Not writing for them anymore I new nothing of that until today. I had coincidental read on the BBC website that Yahoo had been hacked and that 450,000 Ex members of Associated content had had there personal details released through an archived file to Hackers.
The type of information released was the following:
Personal Email accounts along with passwords.
Home telephone numbers
Private addresses and other personal information.
This was all news to me as I did not even have a Yahoo account and I never wanted one or requested one.
Apparently Yahoo new about this days ago but did not even issue a warning. It was only today after pressure from the media that they decided to sen an email to all affected people. No apology was given and no offer of help was given to any of the affected people because Yahoo said there was nothing they could do to help as the affected 450,000 people were not members of Yahoo. Below is a copy of the Email sent to me by Yahoo today.
Copy of Email
You may have read in press reports that Yahoo! recently confirmed an older file containing approximately 450,000 email addresses and passwords—provided by writers who had joined Associated Content prior to May 2010—was publicly posted on the Internet. This file was a standalone file that was not used to grant access to Yahoo! systems and services. This message is being sent to an email address in this compromised file.
We are taking important steps to address this issue and have now fixed the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of the data and enhanced our underlying security controls. As a non-Yahoo! account holder, we apologize that we cannot provide you a direct means to secure your account. We strongly recommend that you employ the security mechanisms recommended by your email service provider to secure your account.
Additionally, given the high frequency of consumers using the same login information on services across the Internet, we strongly advise users to:
• Change their passwords for any account they hold every few months,
• Use a different password for each service or website, and
• Create passwords using a mixture of characters, symbols, and numbers.
We also suggest that you proactively monitor the activity on any account you have created online. Specifically, be on the lookout for spam originating from your email, and check your sign-in activity from time to time. If you see anything suspicious—like your account was accessed in Romania when you were home in Chicago—you should change your password immediately.
We take security very seriously at Yahoo! and invest heavily in protective measures to ensure the security of our users and their data across all our products. In addition, we will continue to take significant measures to protect our users and their data.
We sincerely apologize for this matter.
After receiving this I have spent the day changing all passwords all email accounts, PayPal accounts, Twitter accounts and the list goes on.
You wqill read more of this in the news tomorrow.
In ending I am to put it mildly ticked off and my advice to everyone is to be very careful when writing sites no matter who they are start up associations with other companies not informing the Freelance writers of anything.
A writing site has a responsibility to protect the personal details of all there employees and that includes freelance writers and not just hand over there personal files to anyone without there written permission. That includes when they associate with a company or sell to a company.