January 25, 2016 9:44 am

VTech restores some online services after massive hacking scandal

Electronic toy and education company VTech has restored some of their services, more than a month after a massive data breach.

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Electronic toy maker VTech has restored some of its online services more than a month after a massive data breach exposed the personal data of some 10 million customer accounts worldwide.

The company has reopened key functions of its Learning Lodge app – its online portal which allows users to download games and content to their VTech device – including giving customers the ability to register and manage their account.

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Some of the company’s other services remain offline, though.

READ MORE: Data from over 300k Canadian kids at risk following VTech hack

“After the cyber attack, we have focused on further strengthening security around user registration information and other services within Learning Lodge. With the key services now resumed, we strongly suggest that our existing customers log in to Learning Lodge as soon as they can and change their passwords,” said Allan Wong, chairman and CEO of VTech, in a statement.

“We apologize that there are still some Learning Lodge services that remain unavailable at this time. We continue to work very hard towards re-opening them as soon as possible.”

Data from both parents and children was exposed after the company’s app database was hacked in November. It contained customer names, email addresses, passwords, IP addresses, mailing addresses and download histories as well as kids’ profile information, including names, genders and dates of birth. It’s alleged the hacker also obtained children’s head shots attached to gaming profiles, as well as chat logs between kids and parents.

Over 237,000 Canadian adult profiles and 316,000 children profiles were affected by the breach.

READ MORE: Kids’ data is valuable too – children at risk of identity theft following VTech hack

According to “Have I been Pwned,” a website dedicated to detailing the Internet’s worst data breaches, the VTech hack is now the fourth largest consumer data breach in history.

To compare, the Ashley Madison data breach comes in second.

British authorities made an arrest in the case in mid-December, but no further information has been released regarding the investigation.

According to a statement, the company has been working with a leading cyber security team to heighten the level of data protection on its services.

“VTech continues to work on and is committed to further data security improvements so that customers of VTech products and services can be rest assured the data they entrust with VTech is secure,” read the statement.

As mentioned, if you have a Learning Lodge account, you should log in and change your password as soon as possible to ensure your account is secure.

Tips for creating secure passwords

Any data breach is a good reminder to make sure your passwords are secure. To make sure yours is strong, try to stay away from easy-to-guess options like “123456″ or “password” and easy-to-guess identifiers, like your dog’s name.

Numbers included in a password should never be something easy to guess based on the user. That means your age, the current year or your address are not good choices. Similarly, the longer the password the better.

READ MORE: How to protect yourself from security breaches on social media sites

Passwords that use up to 10 uppercase and lowercase letters mixed with numbers are proven to be more secure – despite being hard to remember.

One tip is to construct a password from a sentence, mix in a few upper case letters and a number – for example, “There is no place like home,” would become “tiNOplh62.”

And remember, try not to use the same password for any two accounts.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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