Four Great Reasons to Use A “Data Breach Check” Tool Sooner Than Later
Unless you have a better way to find out, using the data breach check tool at WhatIsMyIPAddress.com is a sure way to discover if confidential data is floating on the internet.
You’ve likely heard about major corporate hacks (data breaches) before (like Experian, LinkedIn, The Home Depot) Those type of stories are in the news all time! (A data breach happens when a network is hacked into AND the cyberthieves steal information.) Most of the time, that stolen “data” in information about customers.
So, here’s an important question for you…have you ever stopped to think about—or explore—the possibility that you’ve been a victim of a data breach?
I know what you’re probably thinking: Is that really something you should be concerned about too?”
The answer is, absolutely YES. And there’s a way to do it, totally free. (Stand by.)
Four reasons you need to do a data breach check…like now! A quick glance:
- To see if any accounts you have been compromised
- Discover what information the cyberthieves stole and may have sold on the internet
- If compromised, to find out which on which accounts you need to change old passwords
- To decide if you need to take major action, especially on stolen passwords
Can you imagine how lost you’d be if you tried to find this information on your own? Where would anyone even start?
The good news is, there’s a free, trustworthy online tool to use and gives you an answer instaneously.
It’s the Data Breach Check tool at WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.
The test is quick and it lets you know immediately if you accounts that have been part of a significant data breach. But before you go there, it’s vital to understand 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 cyberthieves attacked 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.
Here’s the point: If that kind of information—specifically, YOUR information—is on the internet.
The 4 reasons you should use the Data Breach Check tool.
Here are the four reasons, spelled out in detail, along with a real-world illustration.
I told these four reasons to a good friend and he went through these steps, and I’ll share what he found out.
1. To see if hackers stole data from companies where you have accounts!
Obviously, the main point is to see if any cybercrooks stole information about you! 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.
A first-time user entered his own email address and found that his information had been compromised on eight different sites associated with his email address.
Eight! A few of them he knew about, but others were through other sites and companies that he’d never heard of before.
2. To see what information was compromised through the breach
Next to each site that was been breached you’ll find a description of when it happened, how it was discovered, and most importantly, what information was compromised or stolen.
For the first breach description, my friend wasn’t too worried. It said the compromised data was email addresses, employers, names, and physical addresses. I mean, he said he was not happy that it’s out there, but he was sure most people with a computer could find out that information about him anyway.
Two descriptions later, however, my friend discovered that one of his passwords had been compromised.
And then another one.
And another one. That is when his worry level went up.
3. To see if and where you need to change your passwords
If any of the breaches included compromised (meaning, stolen) passwords, you obviously will want to go change that password immediately. But if you are one of those people who uses the same password for lots of accounts (or variations of the same password—you could have a bigger problem.
What kind of havoc can a hacker wreak—particularly one who has your email address, one of your passwords, and perhaps other information about you?
Hackers have programs that can quickly run thousands of variations of a single password until it finds the right one. Just because you put a “333” instead of the usual “777” at the end of one of your passwords doesn’t mean you are safe.
If you are in this dangerous habit, one exposed password of yours may give a hacker access to other sites that are potentially more damaging to you, like your bank account.
So, if you are in this habit, how do you fix it? Read on.
4. To see if you need 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—but just know that tackling compromised passwords is an important step toward greater safety.
Are your accounts safe? Do you know?
As you can see, you truly need to use the free Data Breach Check tool at WhatIsMyIPAddress.com to see if you have accounts that have been part of a breach.
The results may surprise you.
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