Passwords - are yours really that safe? Part 3

Have you been pwned?

Phil Scattergood · 06 June 2019

In this, the last episode (for now) about passwords, we look at ways to find out if you or your email address may have been involved in a data breach created by hackers. In Australia, if hackers have breached a company and your data has been compromised, the company has to contact you to let you know. I'm not sure how quickly that happens, but it is usually done as an email that doesn't contain too much helpful information.

It's not in the name

But there is another way - many ways actually. If you want to begin checking for yourself, go to a website called "have I been pwned". Now let's not get uptight about the name, it has nothing to do with pornography and everything to do with tightening your security. It's on this site that you can type in an email address, and it will check if you have been involved in a data breach without your knowledge. That means that someone has been hacked, and the hackers may have your details. You can also read up on all kinds of interesting breaches, and find helpful hints to protect yourself. Arming yourself with information is the best way to protect yourself.

Take action

If you have been "pwned" then you must change your passwords straight away. Make it a strong password. Check the places where you have used that email address and change the password there as well. Think about the type of data that may have been stolen and keep a record of it. Consider some of the tips we wrote about in the last article. Read up on easy ways to secure your data, devices and systems.

And don't re-use passwords. Have a different password for every site that you go to. One site = One password.

Make sure you check back here for more tips - I'm sure I'll have a few more things to say about passwords. But if you have any concerns, as always please contact us for assistance.

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Phil Scattergood

Phil Scattergood

Hi, I’m Phil With almost 20 years in Tech Support, I’m passionate about helping people demystify technology. Technology in your terms is the way I like to think. I love what I do, who I do it with, and who I do it for. As an avid fan of motorcycling, kayaking, and traveling, I'm often on the move. But that doesn't stop me from getting the job done. I love the idea of cloud-computing, working from anywhere, and teaching others to do the same. I believe in old-fashioned customer service, which means being available, talking to people, taking the time to understand the issues that people have, and then helping them get it right. If you have questions about the technology that you are using, feel free to send them through. I don’t always have the answers, but I certainly can help you find them!

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