Have your online accounts been compromised? This tool will check for you

Consumer Watch

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Having our online identities compromised can be quite a problem to get rectified, but how do you know if you’re at risk?

There’s a simple online tool the check if you’ve been “owned” by dark-web criminals.

Passwords are the key to an online identity. If they’re out in the open, criminals have access to almost everything a person does in cyberspace.

In cyberslang, it’s called being “pwned.” It’s a term reserved for having credentials compromised by hackers.

And as it turns out, most people don’t know when they’ve been “pwned.”

Yotham Mdrang said he didn’t think he’s been the victim of a data breach. He said he didn’t know for sure, though.

Kristine Chronopoulos also said she thought she had never been the victim of a data breach.

“I don’t believe I have,” she said.

There is a quick, easy way to figure out if your data has been stolen. The website is called “Have I been PWNED?

Type in your email address and you’ll have an answer in moments. If the password for that email shows up in breached data, the website will tell you where and how. It lists all the places on the web where your password was exposed due to a date breach.

Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia used a family member’s email address to try the tool. It came back with 10 different places where the account’s password and other data could be found — dating back more than a decade.

That kind of breach is a worry for everyone. To prevent trouble, it’s best to be proactive.

  • Change your email login immediately
  • Never use your email password for any other account
  • Never use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Use a password manager to remember your passwords

Meanwhile, the FBI announced it will contribute its list of compromised passwords to the “Have I Been PWNED” tool. That is significant because the feds have access to data breach information not generally made public.

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