Privacy 101 ๐Ÿง 

How to check if you were part of a data breach

Data breaches occur on a near daily basis, and if you aren’t keeping up with the latest news, you might be a victim. Here’s our guide on how to check if you were part of a data breach.

Equifax. LinkedIn. Yahoo. Banking apps. Business software…We even built a recent data breach tracker to keep tabs on them all! It’s difficult to stay ontop of data breach news, but the good news is it’s not hard to see if you have been part of a data breach.

It seems that no place is safe or invincible against hackers looking to steal your personal information. What’s worse is that hackers are using a variety of tactics that make it difficult to stop. If you use the internet or have a smartphone, there’s a good chance you may have been part of an attack at least once — and most likely you had no idea your data was hacked!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure-fire formula to find out if you were part of a data breach. Some users remain clueless until their identity is stolen and the damage is done. If you fail to maintain control over your digital data, your information could end up manipulated and compromised on the dark web and black markets. 

If you are wondering how to check if you were part of a hack, then youโ€™re in the right place. Here are some steps to determine if you were part of a data breach.

If you do find you were a victim, review our guide on what to do after a data breach to protect yourself and clean up the mess.

1. Watch out for fake antivirus messages

A tell-tale sign that you were part of a data breach is if you start to get unexpected antivirus messages. These pop-up type notifications usually are distinguishable as fake and are easy to differentiate from actual system notifications. Typically, hackers try to directly access your system by sending fake messages about a possible virus in your device. 

The messages usually suggest that you install the said antivirus software or lose all your data within seconds. Never believe these lies. Just one click on such a notification is enough to cost you irreparable damage.

2. Check data breach websites

One of the best ways to check if you have been hacked is to enter your email into a number of data breach websites that track breaches and verify them as genuine. The websites will tell you if your email and associated passwords were part of any known data breaches.

The best resource is Privacy Bee’s data breach scan and vulnerability analysis. All you need to do is put in your email address to get detailed information about your exposure to recent data breaches.

3. Change your passwords

Keeping the same passwords for years makes you an easy target. If your password information is stolen, your hacker will probably use it to log in elsewhere. If you notice unauthorized logins from foreign places and unknown devices, you may have been hacked!.

Change your passwords immediately! Because, if you keep the same password for all your online accounts, you’ll eventually lose each account one by one. Some hackers change the password and email information as soon as they access your account. Others only operate your account in shadows, but your login information might still be accessible to them.

4. Monitor your bank accounts

Banking apps are a great initiative, except for the fact that they’re exposed to online data breaches. If you notice unauthorized transactions or receive alerts that you have no clue about, get in touch with your bank immediately. 

It’s best to opt-in to real-time alerts from your bank so that you can get notified the instant there’s suspicious activity. Otherwise, it may be too late to catch the thieves in action! Then you can contact your bank and do a data hack check before any real damage is done.

Data breaches are scary and intimidating. However, if you ever have a suspicion regarding potential hacks, do your best to protect your account. Limit your public profile information, bank details, and run security checks from authorized sources. The better you are at monitoring your data privacy, the better protected you’ll be!

One of the most dangerous aspects of data breaches is the potential for your identity to be stolen. If you find you were a part of a data breach or hack, check with these top signs your identity has been stolen.

Related: The 5 most common types of data breaches