In this article we will discuss how you can protect yourself online, and check if any of your online account has been compromised or pwned and been a part of online data breach.
This is your host Navjot Virk with over 9 years experience in the Internet and Technology industry.
With continued popularity of Internet and opportunities it presents, Internet attracts people from all walks of life, most are there to contribute and help others but a small minority is on the opposite side to hurt people.
Data Breaches are not uncommon these days, even the biggest of companies like Yahoo have been comprised in the past.
Online security is paramount
These are the couple steps you can take to check if you have been pwned (or breached where your data is floating on dangerous site on the internet).
Use a Data Breach Monitor
There are couple brilliant and free tools that exist you can use to check for breaches and the best part is if you are using one the next time any of your account is compromised the tool will send you an email.
Firefox Monitor by Mozilla
Monitor.firefox.com – Monitor is one of the credible tools available out there from a trustworthy non-profit foundation – Mozilla which is the same company that offers Firefox Browser.
Just pop in your email and Monitor will show you all the data breaches where your email account was found.
For example: My email showed up for 10 websites.
Have I been pwned?
HaveIBeenPwned.com is another great tool for checking data breaches.
When you receive an email that says your account was breached for a website you should act quickly and reset your passwords and safeguard your payment methods if you have any connected to an account that got pwned.
Reset your passwords
Make sure the same credentials (email and password) is’t used for other accounts, if it is make sure to quickly reset passwords for all your other accounts.
Its usually best to have different passwords for different accounts, but sometimes we do end up with same passwords on all sites since managing too many passwords can sometimes be hard, in that case use a password manager.
Enable 2 factor Authentication
To further improve your account security you can setup 2 factor authentication for accounts that support it (like gmail), just be aware this will require you to have your mobile close to you every-time you want to login into an account. Here is an article from Verge that goes over enabling 2 factor authentication.
Safeguard your Payment Methods
If any of the website that you have payment details (like debit/credit card) saved on, gets compromised quickly respond by changing your account password.
Get in touch with your bank to have the card cancelled and order a new one.
Second, check your bank account for any suspicious transactions.
Review your decision to use the breached site or not in future
Review do you really need to use this website that got breached because they don’t seem to have strong security measures in place (make a yes or no choice – if no delete the account, else have the password reset).
Setup a Future Breach Alert
It’s nice to occasionally check these tools, but as you go on with your day to day life. You should automate the process of tracking future breaches, as thats a more practical approach.
Both Firefox Monitor & Have I been Pawned ? provide alert functionality.
You can add your email and set alert then they trigger an alert if one of your accounts for that email get’s breached.
Stay safe. Hope this was helpful.
Disclosure: None of the links in the article are affiliated or sponsored, these are just tools that I use and am sharing my experience.