We all have passwords that we use online for shopping, social media, business and banking.
Did you know that your email and passwords could have been compromised by hackers attacking some of the websites and systems that you use?
It is quite common for data breaches to occur and unfortunately most online companies do not inform their customers when this happens – even though the GDPR law in the UK compels them to take action and inform all affected parties when their data has been breached.
But these laws do not extend to overseas entities.
Most of the big websites that we use – and the bigger they are, the more of a target they become for hackers – are hosted and controlled by overseas businesses. This means they are not compelled to inform their customers of any data breaches – even though they should do.
That being said, many websites DO let their clients know of possible data breaches. But again, often way after the breach has occurred – often months later.
How do I check to see if my email and passwords have been compromised?
There are some online tools to check and see if your details have been stolen and then listed ‘for sale’ probably as part of a much larger datatbreach.
Try these websites to see if your details are listed:
Have I Been Pwned – (pwned is an industry term for stolen data that is made available to purchase on the dark web) Link to the HaveIBeenPwned website
There are many others as well so you can simply do a search in Google for “How do I check to see if my email and passwords have been compromised?
FAQ’s about data breaches
There is also another way to check your stored passwords within the Google Chrome browser.
This process will check your stored passwords against sites that have been known to have been compromised previously. You can then change them or delete them from your auto complete settings in Chrome.
Step 1: If you use Windows then do this:
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top, click More – Settings.
- Select Passwords, Check passwords.
I use a Mac so I use the following steps:
Then you will see:
Then select “check now”
Then it lists how many breaches it has found by comparing Chromes stored passwords against known attacks and breaches of personal data. My check found 9 compromised passwords!
Then I can check to see exactly where my passwords have been compromised from:
Then I can choose what to do about Chrome’s storage of my password
It’s best to remove the password and then be forced to update it – in my opinion.
If you follow these steps you should enhance your security when using Chrome.
But you also need to change any passwords that you may see if you choose to “see password” instead of remove password – if it shows one that you still use. – anywhere – then I would change it everywhere.
Remember – never us the same password for different websites or services – make them all unique and difficult to guess.
Stay safe out there.