In what has already been dubbed the worst hack of all time, a hacker recently revealed that he had obtained the personal data of a billion Chinese citizens. Unfortunately, massive data leaks don’t stop in the Middle Kingdom. If you want to strengthen your security, one of the first steps you should take is to check how many of your accounts have already been affected by a security breach.
While the Shanghai police station hack is the largest ever, there have been many other massive data breaches over the years and there’s a good chance you’ve been affected by at least a few of them. they. It’s true that most companies try to warn their users about these violations as soon as possible, but even they sometimes don’t discover them until months or years later.
“Have I Been Pwned”, the reference to know if you have been the victim of a leak
One of the best ways to check several of your main accounts at once is the website “ Have I Been Pwned ”, led by security researcher Troy Hunt, who tracks data breaches.
Enter the email addresses you regularly use on the site to see which of your accounts may have been affected. The site will tell you when the breach occurred and exactly what information was affected.
You can also sign up for alerts linked to your email address so you can be notified as soon as another breach is detected. Although there may be other sources of personal information, the Troy Hunt website is by far the most comprehensive of its kind, and so it’s not a bad idea to check your addresses from time to time.
Other monitoring solutions
If you are looking for proactive tools to protect your online data, many software programs offer monitoring of forums. dark web and recent data breaches to alert you if your personal information has been compromised. Here is a list of services offering this functionality:
- security suites like Norton Lifelock ;
- password managers like LastPass or Keeper ;
- specialized solutions like Bitdefender DigitalDigital Identity Protection or Digital Shadows.
Compromising a credit card is perhaps the easiest hack to overcome. You are not responsible for fraudulent charges, and once the bank issues a new card, the problem is resolved. Well, except for the need to update your payment information wherever the old card was saved.
Regain control of an account messagingmessaging hacked can be more difficult. You will need to contact the email provider and prove that you are the real account holder. In the event that the hacker changes your password, it is important to have another address and make it a backup account.
A significant number of sites require you to use your email address as an identifier to log in. This is, of course, a simpler method which will not force you to remember several identifiers (in addition to remembering several passwords), but which poses a big problem. If a hacker obtains your username/password pair on one site and you use this same pair on other platforms, many of your accounts could be compromised.
Even without using duplicate passwords, having your email compromised can still be a significant problem. What do you do if you forget a website password? You click to receive a password reset link sent to your email. A clever hacker who has control of the email account will quickly search for your other accounts, social media… or worse, your accounts with e-retailers where your banking information is probably stored. After a simple password reset, the hacker can take possession of these accounts.
After regaining control of an email account, you should definitely visit all sites associated with that email address and change your password. A password manager will be of great help to you in this regard.
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