How to check if your account has been compromised on a data breach

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A data breach is an incident where private and confidential information is released to untrusted environment without authorization from its owners. It is usually done by hackers who constantly exploiting weaknesses in corporate networks to copy, transmit and steal sensitive data. This data might include someone’s personal information like medical records, bank accounts, credit card accounts, e-mail accounts and intellectual properties.

Data breach can affect many user accounts. One example is the 2013 Adobe data breach where 2.9 million customer accounts from Adobe were hacked. The attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords.

This include customer names, credit card numbers, expiry dates and other information relating to customer orders. Additionally, attackers also accessed source codes of numerous Adobe products.

This incident is the reason why Troy Hunt, a cyber-security expert, launched Have I Been Pwned  website. This website allows anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account having been compromised in a data breach.

By aggregating the data, it helps victims learn of compromises of their accounts and also highlights the severity of the risks of online attacks.

This web service is very easy to use. You just type or paste your email address or username into the textbox then press enter or click the “pwned?” button and it will tell you if your account has been involved in a data breach.

Also, if you subscribe to this website, it will notify you whenever your account has been compromised on a data breach.