Have you been pwned?
Check if your personal details have reached the Dark Web.
Has your personal information been exposed? Have you been pwned? Is your social security number or credit card number sold on the Dark Web? Check 4 methods in this post to figure it out and tackle this problem.
What does pwned mean?
Originally a typo of owned in computer games, pwned means you’re a data breach victim in this context. If your passwords, email addresses, or other personal information leaked online, you have been pwned.
While exact figures remain elusive, it’s approximated that over 800,000 individuals fall victim to hacking daily, with roughly 2,200 cyberattacks reported. In 2020, the FBI logged 19,369 complaints regarding email compromise internet crimes, marking a surge likely correlated with the prevalence of identity theft.
If you think account hacking is far away from you, check these data breaches which expose your personal info to cybercriminals.
data source: haveibeenpwned.com
What’s the consequence of hijacking?
- Increasing ad emails and calls
- Phishing emails and calls mocking your service provider
- Stolen identity (phone number, name, address, photos, SSN…)
- New accounts opened in your name
- Money transferred not made by you
- Change of delivery address
- Weird emails sent to your colleagues, friends, and family
- Sensitive personal info sold on the Dark Web
Have you been pwned?
Wondering if you’re a victim of data breaches or account hijacks? Just use the following methods to run a free scan.
Method 1 Have I been pwned?
haveibeenpwned.com is a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if their info is at risk due to data breaches. Specifically, it aggregates breaches and provides access for people to run the scan. You can enter your email or phone to check if they’re in data breaches so that you can protect your online identity better (e.g. changing your passwords).
If it finds nothing related to your account, then congratulate! Your account is safe temporarily. But to give your identity safety a well-rounded protection, we recommend you try the other methods as well.
Method 2 Aura
As a leading authority in identity protection, Aura excels in offering comprehensive services, including monitoring, account tracking, antivirus functionality, password management, and VPN services. Their expert staff provides guidance on necessary steps following alerts or incidents of identity theft. Utilize their free scan tool for immediate insight into potential data breaches.
- Go to Aura scan page.
- Fill in your email address and click View Results.
- It’ll start scanning. After that, you’ll know if there is any information tied to your email on the Dark Web.
- Besides, Aura provides a 14-day free trial (worth $12-37/mo) for people concerning their identity safety and ID protection services. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Method 3 NordPass
Being one of the Nord Security family, NordPass is an innovative password management solution designed for a simpler and safer online experience on any device. Since password safety always connects to hacked accounts and data breaches, it offers a free scan for people to check out if they’ve been hacked.
- Go to the NordPass scanner page and click No, try the online version.
- Type in your email address and click Check Now.
- You’ll get a notification if the scanner finds no related breaches.
However, you need to have a NordPass Premium account ($1.69/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee) to check the detailed report. What’s more, if your email links to a data breach, it may mean you need to change your password immediately out of online safety concerns.
Method 4 Identity Guard
Identity Guard, as its name implies, provides comprehensive protection against fraud, identity theft, data trading, and financial loss. It delivers near real-time alerts for breaches and credit fraud. Beyond that, it furnishes an array of tools, such as credit monitoring, dark web surveillance, and credit lock to fortify online safety.
Its data breach checker detects account hijacking, identity theft, credit theft, home title theft, data trading, and spam & robocalls. Here’s how to access its scanner:
- Visit the Identity Guard scan webpage.
- Enter an email address and click Free Privacy Checkup.
- You can see the results in minutes. Turning on the data breach notifications may be a good choice if you want to stay informed about your personal data safety.
- If you find your identity at risk, consider protecting yourself with Identity Guard in 5 easy steps. You can start with its 7-day free trial.
Signs of being hijacked
To find out if you have been pwned, you can also pay attention to the following signs.
- Your email password isn’t working.
- Your inbox loses some emails.
- Strange emails in the sent box that you didn’t send.
- Your friends say they’re getting spam from you.
- Many different IP addresses appear in the logs.
- Social media accounts linking to this email have odd messages.
What to do after email is hacked?
- Regain access to your email account — If you can log in to your email account, change the passwords immediately. You may also need to change other accounts’ passwords if you use the same one. Password managers like NordPass and LastPass may help. However, if you fail to access your account, work with your email provider to recover it (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo).
- Warn your friends and contacts — Alert them that you’ve been hacked so that they’ll be wary enough to skip opening any messages sent from hackers.
- Enable two-factor authentication — Add 2FA to your email following your email provider’s guidelines (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo).
- Scan your device for viruses and malware — Run a thorough antivirus scan (e.g. Malwarebytes) to check for spyware, keyloggers, and other malware. Keep your system, browsers, and apps up-to-date.
- Keep an eye on your credit report — Most hackers are eager to make profits from using others’ identities, so watch out on your credit report to get the earliest alert. You can check credit reports weekly for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Use professional identity protection tools — Get yourself peace of mind by letting ID protection products (e.g. Identity Force, Aura) do the monitoring and alerting job.