Popular goods swapping platform Freecyle got hacked and recommended users change their passwords “as soon as possible.”
On August 30, Freecycle said its website had been the target of a data breach. User IDs, email addresses, passwords, and usernames were swiped. Freecycle said no other information was leaked but strongly recommended people change their passwords. This is especially true for those who use the same password across multiple accounts.
The data breach is a potent reminder of how important it is to use unique passwords for every account. As tiresome as remembering each password can be, it’s vital to protect yourself against fraudsters. While recycling is typically good, it’s best to avoid it when choosing a password. Anyone who uses the same email/password combination for multiple accounts is vulnerable to a digital nightmare that could be contained to a single platform if it gets hacked.
Freecycle said affected users might receive more spam emails than usual and warned people to be wary of opening suspicious emails. Don’t click on links or download anything attached to such emails. They can infect your computer or send you to dubious websites in an attempt to gather additional personal information.
The incident was reported to “appropriate U.S. authorities,” and the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K.
Freecycle was not immediately available for comment.
To change your password on Freecycle, go to My Settings and select Password Reset. Enter a new password, click Save Changes, then sign in with your updated password. Users who can’t log in through the website can request a Password Reset. Freecycle will email you further instructions within an hour. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox, but be cautious to only open emails from Freecycle’s official account.
For more assistance, users can click the green question mark icon at the bottom right of the website to chat with a Help Team member.