Posted On 28 Feb 2019
If your data falls into the wrong hands, you run the risk ofexperiencing a huge range of issues. You could find that youraccounts can be compromised and your sensitive information can beaccessed by hackers and other bad actors.
Data breaches are,unfortunately, all too common. A huge number of websites andplatforms experience these breaches and it means that yourinformation might have been compromised. The biggest data dump ininternet history occurred recently: known as “Collection #1”,this huge 87GB file contains 2,692,818,238 spreadsheet rows in 12,000files. The leak contains both email addresses and passwords.
Was your informationpart of the breach? Here’s how you can find out.
Have You BeenPwned?
There is a freewebsite that exists called “Have I Been Pwned?”. You can put youremail address into the search bar and the platform will search to seewhether your email address was part of a data breach. The websitewill then tell you which websites might have been responsible, andwhy.
This is a reallyuseful tool and if you find that your data has been revealed, it’simportant that you begin to change your passwords and consider usinga password manager plugin. These tools (such as LastPass) help you tocreate super strong unique passwords which are never the same.
Our lack ofcreativity with passwords is a big problem: while there were 700million email accounts included in “Collection #1”, there wereonly 21 million unique passwords. This is because as a whole, we arevery poor at creating unique passwords and prefer to use somevariation of common passwords like “password” and “123456”.This is very problematic and means that hackers find it easy to gainaccess to your accounts.
If your find thatyour data has been compromised at some point, it’s important thatyou begin to change your passwords. While it is convenient, youshould never use the same password for different websites. This iswhy you should use a password manager.
Another importantstep to take is enabling two-factor authentication. If you have thisswitched on, it’s very difficult for hackers to get into youraccounts even if they have your password. While this might seem likea hassle at first, it’s an important part of handling your dataresponsibly. Most websites will send a text message to your phone anda passcode will be sent there.
We hope that youhaven’t been the victim of a data breach but if you have, thesetips can help you to stay safe and secure.