Check if your information has been shared in a data breach

It is crucial to protect your data, passwords, and other information. This is one of the reasons there have been far stricter requirements for protecting personal data in recent years. However, companies get their customers’ or users’ personal information leaked by mistake or in connection with a compromise. It is different from what is revealed, and it is not sure that it constitutes a threat, but you should still keep an eye on whether your information is among those leaked. Even large and recognized companies such as LinkedIn, Adobe, Dropbox, MyHeritage, MySpace, and Kickstarter have been among companies with significant leaks of their customers’ data.

How to check if your information has been leaked

The media regularly write about the vast data leaks from companies where many people may have stored information. Have I Been Pwned is a widely recognized tool to check whether one’s personal information has been leaked. Despite the slightly silly name, it is a perfect tool as all you have to do is search your e-mail address, after which the tool tells you whether your information has been leaked and which companies it happened to. You can also sign up for their mail service, where you are automatically informed if your information has been part of a new data leak – we highly recommend this. You should check them individually if you have more than one e-mail address.

You must do this if your information has been leaked.

First, you should not panic but instead, keep a cool head. Read the above website to see what information has been part of the leak, and consider changing your password. In any case, it is recommended to change your password regularly, as well as activate 2-factor login. There are good apps for this purpose, for example, Google Authenticator.

What has leaked information been used for?

There can be many different intentions for using leaked information. If the information has been made public by mistake, it is not sure that there is a danger right here and now. If, on the other hand, a company has been hacked or compromised in some other way and this connection has had their customers’ or users’ information stolen, it is most likely a suspicious intention behind it. It can be identity theft, appropriation of credit card information, hacking of these users’ other accounts (hackers know that many people use the same usernames and passwords in many places), and much more. In other words, it is not something you should take lightly.