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.

What happens after my information is breached?

Data breaches are scary and intimidating. Millions of pieces of information are leaked onto the internet. This often ends up in the hands of data brokers and is published on people search sites. This is one way your name, phone number, address, and much more personal information become easily searchable on Google.

Data breaches lead to an increased chance of your identity being stolen. By being proactive about your digital privacy and removing your personal information from the internet, you make yourself less vulnerable to identity theft.

You have control of your digital footprint. Get a FREE Privacy Risk Scan Now!

One of the most dangerous aspects of data breaches is the potential for your identity to be stolen. If you find you were 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

How Can I Automatically Remove My Private Information From The Internet?

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