Have you been ‘pwned?’ No one is immune to a data breach

Have you been “pwned?”

The website “Have I Been Pwned?” tracks all the accounts hackers could have access to and there are more than nine billion at risk. Are you one of them?

Started by a Microsoft engineer, the site is a play off the word “owned.” They’re basically asking the question, do the hackers own your info?

“There are hundreds of millions of records, of emails, user names, and passwords that have been compromised in data breaches in the last several decades,” said CIGENT Technology network security engineer, Evan Lutz.

This website can help you determine if your information was compromised in a data breach, which could mean it’s available to hackers on the dark web.

WINK News’ Safety and Security Expert Rich Kolko gave the site a try for himself and found that some of his information had been leaked in four different data breaches and had been available on the dark web at some point.

However, this happened back in October 2013. He’d changed his password since then, which has now made his information safer.

No one is immune and once your information is breached, it’s up for sale.

“They go to the dark web and they buy it with bitcoin,” Lutz said. “Completely untraceable.”

So what can you do? Keep up with good security practices like Janet from Lehigh Acres who said, “The bank makes us change our password like once a year to make sure that nobody has our information.”

Also, take advantage of free services your bank or credit card offers like setting up spending notifications to stop fraud.

“If I ever go over $100, my bank always calls me to make sure it was me. And I text them back and they release my card,” Janet said.

Ad besides changing your password regularly, Lutz says, “Use a password manager, having those unique passwords are going to keep you safe in the event of a data breach.”

The new year is a good time to change all of your passwords.

Remember, the information a hacker gets from your email, passwords or medical records can tell them everything from where you work to where you live, so take it seriously.

To find out if you have been “pwned,” click here.

IDENTITY THEFT & DATA BREACH RESOURCES

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Briana Harvath
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