Multiple identities: the key to email security

Some email accounts accumulate a lot of promotions. (WTOP Photo)

WASHINGTON – After some Yahoo email addresses and passwords were stolen, it’s a good time to make some security changes to your email account even if you’re not a Yahoo mail user.

Many people use their email address as a user ID to do things such as online banking, because it’s easy to remember.

But Consumer Reports warns that this leaves you vulnerable to something called multipurposing.

Someone who learns your email address and password — like with the Yahoo breach — could use it to reset passwords on your other accounts and get access to them.

A hacker could do this by plugging your email address into popular websites and using the “forgot password” option to have your password reset or sent to your email address, where the hacker intercepts it.

For the same reason, Consumer Reports says, you should also avoid using the same user ID for more than one online account.

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