How to Sign In
Cengage Technology & Computing Blog
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Not So Good with Numbers

Not So Good with Numbers

It's 500 million. No, wait, it's 1 billion. Hold on, hold on, it's really 3 billion.


There's quite a difference between 500 million and 3 billion. To be exact, that difference is 2,500,000,000. Or, it's a 500 percent increase. For you scientific types, it's 2.5E+09. In terms of money, if you had $2.5 billion you could afford to buy 83,333 cars that cost $30,000 each. Or you could buy a small city of 12,500 houses at $200,000 each. If you could live 2.5 billion minutes, you'd stick around for 4,756 years.


And one more tidbit about 2.5 billion: it's the size of the error that Yahoo made in determining how many of its email accounts had their data stolen.


One year ago (Sep 2016) Yahoo announced that information on 500 million Yahoo email accounts had been stolen. Yahoo claimed that it was the work of state-sponsored attackers, but they don't say which government they worked for. Then two months later (Dec 2016) Yahoo said they made a slight rounding error: it was actually information on 1 billion accounts that was swiped.


And then yesterday (Oct 3 2017) Yahoo said that the actual total was 3 billion accounts. That's right: 3,000,000,000 Yahoo email accounts had information stolen about them.


But the good news is, we won't be hearing any more updates on these numbers from Yahoo.


Why not?


It's because 3 billion accounts is the total number of all Yahoo email accounts.


That's right: every single email account on Yahoo had login information stolen. Every last one of them.


Yahoo is not so good with numbers. And they're not so good with security, either.



Hi Mark,


What can yahoo account holders do to stay safe? Change their password? Or will it not matter?


Hi, Cassie:


   Yes, change your Yahoo account password.  And maybe it's a time, too, to re-evaluate your Yahoo account usage: if it's not something that you use all that often then perhaps it's time to just delete the account.