Has your data been exposed? An easy way to check

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The holiday season is upon us. With it comes increased online usage, whether it be shopping, social media, or streaming.

This also means that the cybercriminals will be more active. Today, I’m going to talk about a website where you can check if your email has been compromised and how to check if your passwords are out in the wild.

Have I Been Pwned? (HIBP) is a free website that provides a valuable service to help individuals protect their online identities. It is a website created by cybersecurity expert Troy Hunt that allows users to check whether their email addresses or phone numbers have been compromised in data breaches. The site maintains a comprehensive database of leaked account information from various sources, including companies, organisations, and government entities.

Using the website is straightforward.

• Visit the website: Go to http://www.haveibeenpwned.com.

• Work through the tabs, enter your email address, password or phone number and Click the “Pwned?” button.

• Check for breaches: The site will search its database and display whether your email, password or phone number has been found in any known data breaches.

One of the key features is its Pwned Password service. This service allows users to check if their passwords have been exposed to data breaches. The service provides hundreds of millions of real-world passwords previously exposed in data breaches. This exposure makes them unsuitable for ongoing use as they’re at much greater risk of being used to take over other accounts. If any of your passwords appear on this list, you need to change them.

The website benefits are numerous:

1. It helps you become aware of your exposure to data breaches. This enables you to take necessary actions, such as changing passwords or enabling two-factor authentication.

2. It educates about the importance of using unique passwords for each account.

3. It provides a valuable resource for understanding the scale and impact of data breaches.

Its most important feature is the account monitoring capability. By registering your email address, the website will notify you every time a new breach is detected. You will be sent an email containing details of the breach.

David Norris, Nortec IT

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