One of the things I’ve gotten really into since graduating from the library and information studies program is digital security and privacy. One of the things I regularly recommend in digital literacy instruction is to regularly check to see if your e-mail address and password have been compromised in data leaks.
Up until recently the best place to check was: https://haveibeenpwned.com. And I still suggest checking there, but a new site has cropped up that seems to have a different database of information underneath it called #NoSecrets. To learn more about the effort you can click the ? button next to the search field.
All you have to do is type in your e-mail address, phone number, or street address. If it isn’t in the database it will return the following result highlighted in green:
The term you searched does not appear in the data brokers’ database. Come back and check periodically.
If your information has been compromised, it will return the following result:
We found your information in the database. Data brokers hold information about you that they should not hold, putting you at risk. Change your password on all internet accounts.
It will also show you the result and when it was uploaded into their database as compromised.
If it shows up, you’ll want to change your password on your email account, and anywhere you use that email address to login. I was affected by the Equifax data breach, so I knew I should find my account listed as compromised. While it did take time to change all my associated account’s passwords, it is definitely worth it to protect my personal information.
My new recommendation is to check your email address at both websites and use a password manager to help build really strong passwords.