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How to check if your data has been breached

By April 7, 2021April 9th, 2021No Comments
how to check if my online data is hacked

With the Facebook hack of 2019 in the news again recently –  details of more than 530 million people were leaked in a database online, largely consisting of mobile numbers it’s a timely reminder to check if your own personal details have been leaked. Facebook says the data is from an “old” breach in 2019 but privacy watchdogs are now investigating.

Check your own details for a data breach

You can now enter your phone numbers into a website to see if they appeared in a recent Facebook data breach.

The search tool doesn’t just include Facebook, but there have been quite a few of large tech firms that have been hacked over recent years and this website will help you check if you’ve been affected by an online data breach.

Use the Have I Been Pwned online tool  and search for your email or phone number for a quick check.

Previously, users of the platform could only search for email addresses. Visitors to the website can now enter their mobile number into a search box, and the website will confirm if it has appeared in the leaked database.

The Have I Been Pwned website also offers the option to be notified for any future comprises for your email address.

You can also see the website list for companies that have previously had a data breach, here .

Facebook & other big website data breaches

Facebook said it had “found and fixed” the breach more than a year-and-a-half ago. But the information has now been published for free in a hacking forum, making it widely available.

The database covers 533 million people in 106 countries, according to researchers analysing the data. That includes 7 million users in Australia, 11 million the UK and 30 million Americans.

Other large firms that have been hacked over the last few years include Sony, Adobe, Sephora, Mastercard and Oxfam.

How can I keep my online data safe?

Unfortunately, if you sign up to any website online, it’s up to that company to prevent hacks on their system. As mentioned above, you can set the Have I Been Pwned website to notify you if your email shows up in a known data breach.

There are many things that you can do for your own personal online use though.  Click here for essential tips to keep secure online.

What to do if your data has been breached?

If your data was compromised, you need to find out what data was taken and how it can be used. Determining what was stolen can help determine your next steps in taking action. Different information holds different consequences. Your name, phone number and street address can all be found publically in a phone book and hold less detriment than your email address, birthday and other information. Your date of birth is often used to verify your identity and can help hackers access more information and accounts.

If you’re not sure what data of yours Facebook has, check now, click here. 

See this post by Norton Security on what to do in the event of different types of breaches