If you have not heard of the website Have I Been Pwned? then you might want to take a look. This is a Microsoft Security Researcher’s attempts to highlight when there have been data breaches and make you think twice about how you share your email address and what passwords you set.

With Have I Been Pwned? you can input your email address and see if it was part of a data breach. For example if you used LinkedIn a number of years ago, chances are your email address will be there. Same can be said of Plex Media Player and other websites known to us all, eg Adobe and MySpace.

With the Notify Me functionality you can get an email when your email address appears in a data breach. It would be sensible to sign up to this as an early warning to a data breach, ie as soon as it is loaded.

The same can be done for your passwords with Pwned Passwords, yes he has 551,509,767 real world passwords that have been breached. Chances are yours in within it. Isn’t it about time you made your passwords harder to guess? 551 million is a serious amount of passwords so if your password comes up, now is the time to think long and hard about what sort of password you should be using to secure your online accounts.

It’s always a good idea to review your passwords on a regular basis (not just when there is a data breach) to your online accounts and never use the same password for another online account. If you have not heard of two-factor authentication, now’s the time to look it up!

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