Data breaches are a reality of the digital age in which we live, and it only seems like it’s getting worse. In fact, it seems like we hear of new data breaches every day in the news.
Account credentials are compromised in these data breaches, with sensitive information being accessed by hackers. They can steal all types of information, including passwords, phone numbers and even your home address in some cases. That’s pretty scary!
So, what can you do? Be proactive in protecting your accounts and sensitive information. That’s the best thin you can do. We’ve put together a list of the best security tools to help you stay on top of data breach notices and how to see if you’ve been hacked.
1). Have I Been Pwned?
You may have heard of this site and wondered if it was truly legit. We have good news—this is a legitimate site that can help you with online security. This is one of the oldest sites of this type around and it was started by Troy Hunt.
The site’s easy to use—you don’t have to sign in if you prefer not to. To see if an email has been compromised, just type it into the search bar and hit enter. After it’s done searching, it will present you with a list of red flags. You’ll see where your information was comprised, when and exactly what information hackers accessed. The report is quite detailed and helpful.
In addition to checking email addresses, you can also opt to type usernames into the search bar and see if that information has been hacked. It’s fast and easy to use the site, and you can even opt in to be notified of an account breach.
When you visit the site, scroll down and you’ll also see a list of the most recent data breaches. Not only that, but you’ll see the current stats on data breaches. As of today:
- Pwned websites: 405
- Pwned accounts: 8,481,939,203 (we kid you not)
- Pastes: 101,823
- Paste accounts: 122,189,406
The site also offers advice on how to stay safe online and keep your accounts and sensitive information out of the hands of hackers.
DeHashed is very similar to Have I Been Pwned; however, rather than just searching for email addresses, you can search for everything. You can:
- See if your name turns up in hacked lists
- Check to see if your password is on any lists
- And more
One note—the site does have a declaration of sorts that there’s no guarantee all information provided is accurate. However, the tool does help you to remove data using their automated-record removal tool, which is found under each record found.
This tool is a little more challenging to use and you’ll have to pay to see all the search results. Even so, this is a legitimate tool that provides comprehensive search to see if any of your sensitive data has been hacked.
BreachAlarm is another security tool in the same vein as the others. However, it’s an excellent tool in its own right. It’s free to check your email and you’ll be notified if your accounts have been compromised.
Their paid services are worth checking out. It’s called Email Watch Dog. We’ve already taken a look at the free service—here’s the paid service packages to choose from:
- 10 Email Person Protection Pack (protects 10 of your email accounts)
- 50 Email Family Pack (protects up to 50 email accounts for you and your family)
- Free (protects one email account)
The 10 Email Person Protection Pack and the 50 Email Family Protection Pack include:
- Immediate breach notifications via email
- Protection of email address (up to the pack’s designation of 10 or 50)
- Detailed breach notifications that identify the source of the breach
- Receive their subscribers-only email newsletter—the Breach Report
- Fast help form their priority email support team
4). Sucuri Security Scanner
Sucuri Security Scanner is a little bit different than the others. If you believe your website has been hacked, you can use this site to check it out. Simply type your website’s URL into the search bar and hit enter. Within seconds you’ll receive a detailed report with information that your site is OK and clear, or that it’s been hacked. You’ll also be able to see if your site’s been infected with malware or if it’s been blacklisted, and more.
Sucuri also offers broad security and malware removal services, with fees, of course. You can even find a WordPress Plugin and a Chrome extension for up-to-the minute monitoring.
In addition, you’ll find loads of guides, email courses and whitepapers—for free—that you can use to learn how to remove malware and other nasties from your sites, keep your email addresses and sensitive data safe, and more.
This is a great tool for bloggers and anyone with an online business. But it should be noted this service is best used in conjunction with another tool that also checks for hacked email addresses, etc.
How Do These Tools Work?
They pretty much all work the same. These sites use data gathered from other online sources that seek out hacked data, and then share it with others. It’s good to understand that these source sites (not the tools we’re recommending!) can be criminal—they are excellent sources of information for hackers.
While this is the case, the security sites we’re recommending take the same information and allow you to check your emails and other credentials to see if they’ve been hacked. No sensitive information is provided. You’re only informed that you’ve been hacked and then the sites show you where the hacks occurred, etc. With this information, you can go ahead and change your login credentials and protect your accounts and data against future hacks.
It is important to note that there are fake security sites online that do collect your email and login creds to use for hacking your accounts. To avoid these issues, we recommend using the tools in this article. They are reputable and will really work to protect your data and other sensitive information.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent many years working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.