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Have I Been Hacked? How to Know for Sure.

Have I Been Hacked? How to Know for Sure.

May 18, 20217 min read


So you think hackers have stolen your password? You're not the only one.

Perhaps you've noticed strange activity on your email account or frequent pop-ups on your computer. Perhaps it's just a hunch.

But how can you know for sure?

There are many warning signs that you've been the victim of a data hack:

  • Your device is slower than normal.
  • You use more data than normal.
  • Videos take longer to load.
  • You received an email notification about a password change you didn't make.
  • An online account no longer accepts your password.

However, hackers can steal your passwords and identity without you ever knowing. That's why it's so difficult to tell if you're the victim of a hack.

This guide will help you work out if hackers have stolen your information and tell you how to stop it from happening again. 

Prevent hackers from stealing your data by incorporating TeamPassword into your tech stack. This password manager for teams comes with a range of security features like two-step verification and password encryption. Sign up for a free trial today. 

Have I Been Hacked? How Do I Know?

There are various ways to tell whether hackers have access to your information:

  • Look for unusual activity on your account. This activity includes logins to your social media accounts from unfamiliar locations or mass messages sent from your email account. 
  • Look for security emails from account providers that warn about failed login attempts or password changes you didn't make.  
  • Look for changes in performance on the devices, apps, and websites you use. For example, see if videos take longer to buffer than normal. 
  • Look at your browser's password manager (if you use one) and check that nobody has changed these credentials. 

All the above can be a guessing game. You might have a feeling that you're the victim of a hack but don't know for sure.

Checking a stolen password list like "Have I Been Pwned" clears up some of the confusion. This tool searches across multiple data breaches — when hackers take stolen passwords and usernames and post them online — to see if cybercriminals have compromised your personal information.

Here's how to use this stolen password list:

  1. Enter your email address on the main page. 
  2. Click "pwned."
  3. The website will search thousands of databases to see if hackers have stolen your personal information.
  4. If you receive the "Oh no – Pwned!" message, it means hackers have posted sensitive information associated with your email address (passwords, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) somewhere online.
  5. If you receive the "Good news – no pwnage found!" message, it means the website could not find your information on the internet. 

Note: Just because the website can't find your data on the internet, it doesn't mean hackers haven't compromised your personal information.

Read more: Password Manager for Small Businesses

Which Passwords Did Hackers Steal?

Establish which passwords hackers stole in a data breach so you can take quick action. Websites like "Have I Been Pwned" won't tell you which passwords are at risk. You'll only learn whether hackers have compromised the data associated with a particular email address.

Note: Sometimes, hackers might have access to your email address and other personal information but not your password. It's hard to know for sure. 

If hackers have access to your data, it's a good idea to change all passwords associated with the compromised email address. If you use your email address for several online accounts, change the passwords for these services. Updating these passwords might take you a while, and remembering the new passwords leads to additional problems. (Keep reading to find a solution.)

Here are some other tips:

  • When choosing new passwords, use combinations of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Passwords that use all these elements are stronger than those that don't.
  • Don't write your passwords down because this increases the risk of identity theft.  
  • Don't tell anyone your new passwords.

Read more: The Most Secure Way to Share Passwords.

How Common Is a Data Hack?

More common than you think. Hackers were responsible for more than 4,000 attacks every day in 2020, and the total number of compromised records exceeded 37 billion. That's a 141% increase from 2019. Much of this compromised data appears on the dark web, where cybercriminals use it to facilitate illegal activities such as identity theft and money laundering. 

If you have been the subject of a data hack, you are not alone. However, it's important to act quickly to prevent hackers from accessing your personal or financial accounts. 

There are other types of cybercrime to consider. Cybercriminals use techniques like phishing, where they impersonate people online and trick victims into handing over their personal information. Phishing now accounts for more than 80% of all cybersecurity incidents, and criminals steal $17,700 every minute in these attacks. 

What Kind of Information Do Hackers Steal?

Hackers steal all kinds of personal and financial information:

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Bank account details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security numbers
  • Insurance information 
  • IRS information
  • Photos
  • Private message
  • SMS messages

Nothing is off-limits for hackers, and these criminals go to great lengths to steal your data. Once they have access to the information above, hackers can transfer money from your bank accounts, use your identity to apply for financing, and damage your credit file. 

Read more: The Scariest Data Breaches of All Time.

TeamPassword is the best password manager for teams. Features include two-step verification, password encryption, easy password sharing, and more. Get a free trial now and learn how TeamPassword keeps you safe online. 

Have I Been Hacked? How to Stay Safe.

There are several ways to improve online security and prevent hackers from accessing your personal information:

  • Use the latest security software and apps when using devices and browsing the internet.
  • Carry out regular risk assessments where you evaluate your security software.
  • Back up personal data to a reputable cloud service instead of keeping it on your device. 
  • Don't share personal information with other people.
  • Create a security management strategy for your organization and share it with all team members. 

Using a password manager is another way to stay safe online. The best ones encrypt your online passwords so hackers can't access these credentials, and you can keep passwords in a secure cloud-based vault and not have to remember them. There are various password managers online, including free ones available through most internet browsers, but not all tools are the same. 

If you work alongside a team, consider TeamPassword. It's the password manager for teams that require world-class security and performance. This all-in-one password solution helps teams like yours store, manage, and share passwords in the safest way possible. 

How Can TeamPassword Help?

TeamPassword prevents hackers from stealing your organization's most sensitive data with an incredible range of password management features. Enterprises of all sizes use TeamPassword to manage passwords, including tech startups, digital marketing agencies, creative agencies, and software and development teams.

Here are some TeamPassword features that prevent situations involving a stolen password:

  • Random password generation that creates unique passwords for websites.
  • Two-step password verification.
  • Activity and logging tools so you can discover who has access to password management features.
  • Secure encryption technology.
  • Email notifications about password management actions.
  • Passwords stored securely in one place.

Final Word

If you're looking for the answer to the question, "Have I been hacked?" it's difficult to know for sure. Preventing hackers from compromising your data in the first place provides a better resolution. TeamPassword lets you store and manage passwords in a secure environment and minimize the effects of a stolen password so you can avoid hackers stealing your data and continue to collaborate on team projects. 

With features like password encryption, two-step authentication, and random password generation, TeamPassword is the best password management solution for teams that want to improve online security. Sign up for a free trial now.

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