Another day, another company announcing that it has had a data breach. It’s common enough that we hardly raise an eyebrow to the news that millions upon millions of customer details have been exposed or stolen by hackers. That is, until it affects you directly.
Imagine suddenly not being able to login to your email accounts or any of your social media platforms. Even worse, and far more serious, imagine someone else having complete access to your online banking or other financial services. It’s a scary prospect and something we should all be conscious of but, at the same time, don’t let yourself get to paranoid or obsessed with the thought that hackers are constantly targeting you specifically. This simply isn’t the case.
The most common weakness that cyber criminals rely on is that most people will use the same password for multiple services. If they do manage to steal the login details for users of one service, it’s a fairly trivial task for them to run a script that will try all those usernames and passwords to gain access to other, more lucrative, services, such as PayPal for example. The best way to minimise this risk is to use unique and strong passwords for every app, website or service you sign up to. Password managers can really help with this and you can find out more about them in this article from Double Taps Andy Winn.
The trouble is, I have registered, signed up and created accounts with hundreds if not thousands of online services over the years. So many in fact, that I can’t remember them all. How do I know if my data hasn’t already been leaked or stolen?
In this High Speed How To, I’ll show you an easy way you can check to see if your email address, and therefore possibly your password, has been exposed in any data breaches. If you, like me, find that your details have been leaked or stolen, I’ll tell you what to do about it:
We’d love to hear your thoughts on data breaches and hacking: email the team at email@example.com, you can tweet us @DoubleTapCanada, or find us on Facebook by searching for Double Tap Canada.
Co-host & audio producer on the Double Tap Canada radio show. Occasional contributor to Double Tap TV, full time shed resident.