Often, you may find out long after a breach that your personal information has been hacked if Equifax, Yahoo oryou trust, informs you of your birthday, your social security or your credit history. Card number, medical record or other personal information was disclosed as part of a data breach.
With your stolen information, hackers can do everything from shopping, opening credit accounts on your behalf, to filing your tax returns, repayments, and medical claims that all claim to be "you." And even worse, billions of these hacked credentials are available on the Internet and can be easily downloaded by hackers for free.
You can not prevent websites from being hacked, but you can take a few steps to limit the damage caused by the injury. If you use a password manager that creates unique passwords, you can ensure that a stolen password does not grant hackers access to your accounts on other websites if your site is violated. (A good password manager can help you manage all your credentials and simplify the process of creating and using unique passwords.)
However, after a hack, you can use some monitoring tools to tell you which of your stolen credentials are in the dark on the Internet. So you can limit the damage thieves can do. To use two free monitoring tools, Mozilla's Firefox Monitor and Google's Password Checkup, to determine which of your emails and passwords are at risk for action.
How to Use Mozilla's Firefox Monitor
Mozilla's Free Firefox Monitor service lets you track which of your emails were part of known privacy breaches.
. 1 Start the Firefox Monitor page to start.
. 2 Enter an e-mail address and tap Check For Violations . If the email was part of a known security breach since 2007, Monitor displays which hack it heard and what else was revealed.
. 3 Under a security breach, tap For more information about this security breach see which steps Mozilla recommends, such as: For example, updating your password.
You can also sign in to let Monitor notify you if your email address is affected by a future data breach. Monitor will search your email address for any data breaches found and notify you if you have been involved.
. 1 On the Firefox Monitor page, tap the Sign up for Notifications button.
. 2 Create a Firefox account if necessary.
. 3 Tap Log in to see a summary of security breaches for your email.
. 4 At the bottom of the page, you can add additional email addresses to monitor. Mozilla will then send you an e-mail to each address you add, with the subject line "Firefox Monitor has found your information in these security breaches" if the e-mail address was found, along with instructions on how to proceed after the breach have to. 19659014] How to Use Google's Password Verification
As part of the Password Management Service, Google offers the Password Verification Tool to monitor usernames and passwords you use to sign in to non-Google domains, and notify you if these credentials are present suspended. (You can remember Password Checkup when it was a Chrome extension that you had to add separately to Google's browser, which is the same tool that has been integrated with Google's password manager.)
. 1 If you use Google's Password Service to track your credentials in Chrome or Android, go to Google's Password Manager Web site and tap Verify Passwords .
. 2 Tap Verify Passwords again to see if you are.
. 3 Enter the password for your Google Account.
. 4 After a moment's thought, Google displays all the issues found, including compromised, reused, and weak passwords.
. 5 Next to each reused or weak password, there is a button Change Password that you can tap to select a safer one.
How else to Search for Fraud
In addition to the Mozilla and Google tools, you can take extra steps to look for fraud.
Monitor your credit reports. To identify identity theft quickly, you can request a free credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to look for unfamiliar activities, such as: For example, look for a new account that you do not have open. (Note that Equifax itself was part of a massive data breach.) You should also check your credit card and bank statements for unexpected fees and payments. Unexpected charges can be a sign that someone has access to your account.
Sign up for a. Log into a credit monitoring service that constantly monitors your credit report with major credit bureaus and notifies to more actively track fraud. With a monitoring service, you can set up fraud alerts that notify you when someone tries to use your identity to create credit. A credit bureau such as LifeLock can cost $ 8 to $ 25 a month – or you can use a free service like Credit Karma, which lacks other services, such as: For example, monitoring for suspicious use of your social security number.
For more information onsee our instructions for protecting the privacy of your phone and the features of a VPN.