Have you been Pwned?

One of my favorite webpages is haveibeenpwned.com. It tells you if a database containing your email address has been breached and the contents published online.

If you have more than a handful of internet accounts, there is a good chance that your data have already been leaked. Mine certainly have, due to multiple data breaches.

If you see that you have been pwned (gamerspeak for ‘owned’, which means someone ‘got one over on you’), don’t panic. There are two easy steps you need to follow to make sure this doesn’t cause you a lot of grief:

  1. Go to the website that was the source of the data leak and change your password.
  2. If you’ve used that password for any other websites, go to those websites and change your password.

Don’t just ignore the problem. You might think, “who cares if someone hacked into ponyphotos.com, I don’t have any sensitive information there.” You’re right that hackers aren’t interested in ponyphotos.com — but they are interested in your bank and if you use the same password (or security questions, etc.) for your bank as you do for ponyphotos.com then you’re in trouble.

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