Change your password – Microsoft Passport / Live ID / Hotmail breach…

image Around October 1, 2009, about 10,000 Microsoft Passport / Live ID / Hotmail username/passwords were posted to the web by a hacker who got the information from "phishing" emails.

"Phishing" is a VERY low-tech way of getting people’s usernames and passwords – they ask you for it. Yeah – seriously. When you get an email from your bank or hotmail account (or just about any site that uses a username/password) that asks you to confirm your username and password via email, you can be SURE it is a "phishing" email. That is, they are fishing for information. Report it as spam and delete it.

This breach was NOT Microsoft’s fault – this was the fault of innocent people who just follow instructions in email. And yes, it IS hard to tell if an email is legitimate or not. A good rule of thumb is to delete that email, then TYPE IN the address of the website you "just got the email from." If the email says it’s from Hotmail – delete the mail and then go to your web browser and type in (or or, etc.)

If there really is a problem with your account, they will have some information on their website, or on your account. You can also just call the company who supposedly sent you the email.

In any case, if you have a Microsoft Passport, Windows Live ID, or Hotmail address – go change your password NOW!!

(If you need help managing your passwords, I’ve used KeePass for many years and LOVE IT! –

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