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How to avoid email hackers in two easy steps

The secret service is investigating a hacker who may have gained illegal access to emails between members of the George W. and H.W. Bush family, reportedly getting access to photos, phone numbers and private addresses.

So how do you avoid that sort of thing -- whether or not you're a former president. Marketplace Tech contributor Chester Wisniewski of the computer security firm Sophos says do yourself a favor: Get rid of that password you chose during the Pleistocene Era.

"Change those passwords. I talked to a couple friends about this recently, they were using the same password as when they created their hotmail account in 1998."

Aside from switching up passwords, Wisniewski recommends falsely answering security questions or filling in an unrelated term. For example, when asked the name of your first pet, answer "green." Lest you forget your false answers, Wisniewski suggests keeping a cheat sheet somewhere in your house as a back up.

About the author

Chester Wisniewski is a computer security expert with the computer security firm Sophos.

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