Find Out If Hackers Have Your Personal Data and What To Do About It

This is not about real estate, but I feel like data security is important enough to share this with you all.  I am sure you can all recall hearing about data breaches that seem to seem to occur not so infrequently these days.  In 2016 alone, Verizon, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Myspace (thanks, Tom), Democratic National Committee and Yahoo were all victims of hackers, which resulted in the inadvertent disclosure of personal data of millions of people.  Your email password, phone number, address, etc. might be floating on the “dark web” to be purchased by bad guys who want to steal from you.  Ok, so maybe my personal information is out there.  How do I know?  What do I do about it?

How do you know your data has leaked out in one of these data breaches?

One way to find out is by going to https://haveibeenpwned.com/.  Type in your email address, and you can see if your email address is associated with one of the many data breaches that has been publicized over the past several years.  It is not a perfect system.  Not every data breach has been publicized.  But it seems to be a pretty good tool to get started.

Oh crap, my data was leaked!  What do I do?

Firstly, change the password on any breached account.  Secondly, use a password manager to generate a genuine, secure password for every site you use that requires a password.  I don’t have any password managers to endorse (hit me up if you are a password manager company that wants to sponsor this blog post).

Shout out to the podcast, Reply All, whose episode #91 “The Russian Passenger” inspired this post.  Check out the podcast and the episode notes here for more information about securing your data, including more information about password managers.

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