Four Reasons to Run a Data Breach Check ASAP.
Use the Data Breach Check resource from WhatIsMyIPAddress.com
Here’s a word of advice: Unless you’ve done a data breach check recently, you won’t know if the network attack hurt you our might one day.
I’d heard about major corporate hacks (data breaches) before (like Experian, LinkedIn, The Home Depot) and I’m sure you have too. You probably hope it didn’t affect you.
But I’d never stopped to think about—or explore—the possibility that I have accounts that could be affected by one of them.
The answer is, absolutely YES. And I found out there’s a way to do it,
totally free. (I’ll tell you in a second.)
I found out it was important for me to see if I had accounts at risk for these important reasons:
- To see if any accounts I subscribe to (using my email address) have been compromised
- I want what information about me the hackers stole and have.
- If compromised, which accounts do I need to change my passwords on?
- To decide if I needed to take some action, especially on passwords
I go into these reasons in more detail below, but I want to point you to the free resource I used to see if I had accounts that had been compromised in a data breach.
It’s the Data Breach Check by WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.
The test is quick and it lets you know immediately if accounts that you have online have been part of a significant data breach. But before you go there, I want to share with you why this is so important.
Another day, another massive hack and data breach.
Or at least that’s what it feels like these days.
Face it, most of us don’t seem to be incredibly fazed when we hear that yet another company has experienced a data breach.
In some cases, it’s because we’ve never interacted with the website or company that we hear was hacked, so it doesn’t really matter to us. In other cases, though, it’s because we don’t see the danger in front of us—but we should.
Think about it:
- If your house gets broken in to, the loss is staring you in the face. You’d be worried.
- If your mail has been stolen, it would send a chill down your spine.
- If your phone were stolen, imagine the panic that might set in…all the photos, notes, private information.
Because of the accounts we have with companies and services online, the internet is a storehouse of much of our most personal information, from name and email addresses, to passwords, private messages and account numbers.
If hacker stole and had that kind of information about you, wouldn’t you want to know?
The 4 reasons I use the Data Breach Check tool. (And why you should too.)
1. To see if any accounts I subscribe to through my email address have been compromised.
Obviously, the main point is to see if any accounts you have out there are on sites that have been breached. These don’t always indicate that trouble is coming your way, but it will at least open your eyes to the fact that safety is no guarantee on the internet.
I entered in my own email address and what I saw shocked me. Eight instances popped up where my email address showed up on a network breach.
Eight! A few of them I knew about, but others were through other sites and companies that I’d never heard of before.
2. To see what information was compromised through the breach.
Next to each site that has been breached is a description of when it happened, how it was discovered, and most importantly, what information was compromised or stolen.
I wasn’t too worried about the first data breach description: It said the compromised data was email addresses, employers, names, and physical addresses. I mean, I’m not happy that it’s out there, but I’m sure most people with a computer could find out that information about me already.
Two descriptions later, however, I discovered an instance of a compromised account linked to my email address.
And then another one.
And another one.
3. To see if and where I need to change my passwords
If any of the breaches included compromised (meaning, stolen) passwords, you obviously will want to go change that password immediately. You’re at more risk if you use the same password for lots of accounts. It’s no better if you use variations of the same password.
Imagine what kind of havoc can a hacker wreak. What if they have your email address, one of your passwords, and other information about you?
Hackers have programs that can quickly run thousands of variations of a single password until it finds the right one. Therefore, including “333” instead of the usual “777” doesn’t fix it. It also doesn’t mean you are safef.
If you are in this dangerous habit, it’s time for a change. Just one exposed password gives a hacker access to other sites. What if that the account that is your bank account? So, if you are in this habit, how do you fix it?
4. To see if I needed to get a password manager (spoiler: definitely)
If you want the ability to have separate, strong, and unique
passwords for all of your websites (something all cyber security
experts recommend) without having to remember all of them, then a
password manager is for you.
Click here to see our article about why password managers are so important. Hint. Preventing hackers from using your stolen passwords, or guessing them, is great peace of mind.
Are your accounts safe? Do you know?
You should be convinced by now: You should run a totally free Data Breach Check at WhatIsMyIPAddress.com ASAP. Find out if you have accounts that have been part of a breach.
The results may surprise you.
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