What To Do After Your Password And Personal Information Has Been Breached

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 and presently accommodates close to 2 billion websites globally. This unimaginable increase has brought about connectivity and has reduced the world to a small global village.

However, this significant shift from a physical to a digital environment has brought with it several security threats which includes data breach and other industry-level hacking.

According to Juniper Research, data breach accounted for over 2 trillion dollar losses in 2019, and both individuals and enterprises record different cases of personal information and endpoint threats.

Make sure you choose safe passwords

Do not use simple passwords that hackers can steal. There are many ways you can think of a safe password that you will remember.

breached password

 

If your online accounts have been breached- often referred to as being ‘pwned’- then you don’t have to worry. Some simple steps will help you assert the level of damage and restore your account security.

A data breach is a norm- and it remains a significant challenge that comes with the World Wide Web. It is not connected to you being irresponsible. Endpoints of companies can be breached through server hack, staff misconduct, or human error.

Companies are under strict obligations to report cases of data breaches with a high level of urgency. You can find these reports, coupled with hacked data analysis on the internet. This work is attributed to the good guys, often known as ‘white hat’ hackers. Thus, it is easier to find out if your personal information has been compromised.

What Does It Mean To Have Been ‘Pwned’?

The most popular site to verify if your account has been compromised is called, “Have I Been Pwned?”.

You will need to enter your email address (securely), and the website will match it with the records of a data breach in its database. If your data is included, you will receive the bad news of being ‘pwned.’ The website is secure, so you don’t need to worry about any security threat.

What is the origin of the word ‘pwned’?

Pwned means your personal information has been compromised in a data breach. The word originated from a player-to-player conversation in an online video game. When one player loses, the other player types a message to inform the other that ‘You’ve been owned.’ Over time, the word has been misspelled as ‘pwned.’

What Should I do If my personal information has been ‘pwned’?

The first thing to do is to use a new login password for that email address which was affected by the breach. Even if your email account is not compromised, the security risk is high for a different account you log into using the same password.

The rule of the thumb is to never utilize the same password on multiple websites. I discovered my email was ‘pwned’ when Canva Website was compromised in May 2019, but I used a different password. That gave me the rest of my mind while I changed my login details.

It could be stressful trying to recall multiple logins. If you cannot cope with this pain, use a unique password for your email and never utilize this password on any other account.

You can mix numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters to form a strong password.

Beware of Spam

Once your personal information has been breached, watch out for junk messages and spam.

You will be putting yourself at risk when you click links in spam or respond messages. You may expose your IP address to a data compromise, or unconsciously download a virus on your device. Ensure your antivirus is updated and perform a deep scan across your gadgets.

You are a major party when it comes to being cyber resilient. Be proactive!

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Be sure to check out our Password Scan Services to see if your password or personal information is on the Dark Web.