Websites and apps that allow you to log in to them (such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) store information about you, such as your email and password. This is done so that when you need to log in to their site, they have can identify who you are.
However, these large stores of information are often valuable targets for hackers. This is usually because lists of usernames and passwords sell for large amounts on the dark web to other malicious hackers. For this reason, it is possible that your username and/or password was leaked online without you even knowing. How Do I Check If My Password Has Been Leaked?
It's really easy! Simply go to Have I Been Pwned and enter your email address in the text box. If any sites that you use have been breached, it will let you know. In some cases, you'll also be able to see what other pieces of data were also leaked.
Oh No! My Password's Been Leaked! What Can I Do?
There's no need to panic! Use the following pointers to help you secure your accounts again:
- Check the affected accounts. Log into the accounts that have been affected by the leak and check to make sure that there has been no suspicious activity. For example, make sure that any billing/shipping addresses haven't been changed.
- Update your passwords. It is strongly advised to go through your accounts that you use online and update your passwords. This is a good security practice and means that a potential hacker wouldn't be able to use your leaked password to get into your account.
- Enable two factor authentication. This is a great way to help improve your account security on any websites/apps that offer it. A simple example of using two factor authentication would be that after you log in to your account with an username and password, you will be sent an SMS text message to your phone with a code. You can then enter the code into the website/app to continue logging in. This is beneficial because it means that for a hacker to get into your account, they would also need to have your phone.
If you are still concerned about your online security or have any questions, feel free to contact me.