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Quora’s home page. An account is required to use the service. (Quora Image)

If you got an email indicating you were affected by the latest internet data breach and were mystified, you’ve apparently got plenty of company.

The popular web question-and-answer site Quora announced late Monday that account data — including information and messages — for some 100 million users may have been exposed due to “unauthorized access to our systems by a malicious third party.” Quora said the breach was discovered last Friday, and after it investigated, Quora this week began notifying users by email and with a bright red banner across its help pages.

But based on reaction in the Twitterverse, there are a lot of people who received notifications that didn’t even realize they had a Quora account.

“We need a new internet where we click a button and all our accounts get deleted,” wrote @jammun. “I didn’t even know I had one @Quora account let alone *two*.”

“What is #quora? I got an email that my personal info was breached on @quora. I didn’t even know I had an account with them!” exclaimed @AthLib420.

Apparently enough people were surprised that Quora put a question, designed to explain, in its “Quora Security Update – FAQ” titled, “I didn’t know I had a Quora account. How is it that my email or information was exposed?”

“You may have signed up for Quora some time ago,” the answer reads. “While you might not have regularly visited or used Quora, your account remained, and this breach may have exposed some of your information, such as the email address you signed up with, the password you used, or actions you took on Quora.”

Quora is alerting users by email and a banner on its help pages. (Quora Image)

That potentially exposed information, the FAQ explains, includes name, email address, encrypted password, questions, answers, comments and direct messages, as well as other forms of account information, public content and actions, and “non-public” content and actions. Anonymous content, it says, was not affected.

Quora is asking all of its account holders — whether they realized they had an account or not — to change their passwords. It also stated that, “It is highly unlikely this incident will result in identity theft, as we do not collect sensitive personal information like credit card or social security numbers.’

Put in context, the reported Quora breach is far smaller, and potentially less severe in impact, than the recent theft of information from 500 million Starwood hotel guest accounts revealed by Marriott International, or the stunning previous news of Yahoo’s billions of accounts being breached.

Still, if you didn’t realize you had a Quora account and want to address that issue, Quora helpfully has included one specific question in its FAQ: “How do I delete my Quora account?

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