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HaveIBeenPwned? How to Check If Your Data Has Been Breached

Have you been wondering if your data has been breached? We explained how to check if your data has been breached through the website “Have I Been Pwned?”

There have been serious data hacks in the last few years. Among SolarWinds, Facebook, and the lesser-known Accellion, leaks are widespread and damaging. What’s more, the information about what to do next is tedious.

If you have not seen the damage resulting from the recent Accellion leak, you need not go far. Yesterday, I read that the whole University of California system informed its students, staff, and graduates of compromised data.

So, that’s exactly what happens. There have been so many hacks and so many violations that we are insensitive. You might say, “Who cares if they have my email?” For some people, that may never mean anything. But there is an impact.

Be Careful

Did you notice an increase in spam emails and phone calls? Did you receive a large number of text messages on your mobile phone telling you that everything from your Amazon account to your Social Security number has been compromised? The hacker steals the data from the company first and then uses the stolen information to send a phishing attempt. If the company doesn’t pay, they may blackmail the affected people. 

A few of them look really good as well. USPS may sometimes text you about the updates. Also, who hasn’t bought a lot of things online during the pandemic? You may get a weird text saying that you should check the link they’ve sent and give your information. This is generally what all they need.

As for the spam texts, don’t even bother opening them if you don’t want to get in trouble. They may not sometimes be spam texts as well. But there’s a good possibility that they’re phishing. You have to be very good at understanding phishing attempts.

Have I been Pwned by a Hacker? How to Check If Your Data Has Been Breached

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Probably, you’ve gone and changed all the passwords you have (We recommend you do it immediately if you have not.) But what else should you do in case of a breach?

You can check if your accounts have been breached. The web website Have I Been Pwned? will take a look at your electronic mail addresses or phone number and make contact with the breached data.

What does “pwned” mean? Pwned simply means that your information has been stolen. The word “pwned” derives from the jargon of online computer gaming. If a player defeats someone in the game, he/she may write a message like “You have been owned”

The website helps you find out if your information is compromised. When you type your electronic mail address or phone number, you can see how many breaches involve your information. The website breaks it down for you.

The website also provides some other useful tools with us. There is a tool that you can check a particular password in order to learn whether it is a strong password or not. It recommends you to change your password if it is necessary.

The Difficulty

We know that it’s tiring that we have to take some precautions. If most of the security software companies go like this rather than prevent these events, it seems like we will have to take our precautions by ourselves. Until the day these big organizations give more importance to this matter, we will be responsible for these companies mistakes. Keep safe.

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