How to know if you’ve been hacked

Worried you've been hacked? Use these sites to find out and protect yourself

These days, data breaches are growing more numerous — and more worrisome. After all, how are you supposed to protect your passwords and login information when they are being stolen from enormous company databases that you have no control over?

The best way is to find out if your security has been compromised as soon as possible so you can take personal action, which is where data breach detection websites come into play. These sites allow you to securely search through the latest hacked data to see if any of your sensitive information is at risk. We’ve rounded up four of the best for you to use based on your security needs, so let’s dive in.

Have I Been Pwned?

Have I Been Pwned

Have I Been Pwned is one of the oldest, most popular, and best sites in the game. The site works hard to track down breaches, verify them as legitimate, and nab data so you can check it out. You can read more about site runner Troy Hunt and his thoughts on the business here.

Once you log onto the site, you’ll be greeted with a basic search bar and a list of the latest and largest breaches. Just type in your email or username, and the site will search the breached data and showcase any red flags. You can also search more sensitive breaches, but only if you take the time to verify your email address. There’s also an option to deep link straight to a particular account, so you can instantly bring up results for one particular email address if you plan on doing a lot of repeated searches.

It’s a simple tool that still allows for some customization as needed. Moreover, it’s obvious that Hunt really cares about this sort of white hat work, as well as educating users on the dangers of data breaches.

BreachAlarm

best websites for finding out if youve been hacked breachalarm01

BreachAlarm has been set up, perhaps a little too obviously, as a competitor to Have I Been Pwned. But that doesn’t make this site a poor choice. Along with its free email checking service, it also has paid-for notification and protective services you can take advantage of.

The ones that cost you upwards of $30 a year are probably more than you need, but if you are looking for a service more oriented toward small businesses or large families, you may prefer BreachAlarm and it’s highly organized approach to data breaches. There’s also no law against checking multiple hack verification sites just to make sure!

DeHashed

best websites for finding out if youve been hacked dehashed01

DeHashed works in a similar manner to other options on this list, but where they focus on email addresses, DeHashed has everything. Want to see if your name appears in any hacked lists? You can. You could even check to see if your password is on any lists, although we’d caution putting your password into anything but the login form it’s required for — or a password manager.

This tool isn’t as easy to use as some of the others and unless you pay, some search results will be censored, but it’s comprehensive in ways that the others aren’t, making it a great alternative tool to see if you’re vulnerable.

Sucuri Security Scanner

Sucuri Security Scanner

Sucuri’s Security Scanner takes a different approach — it allows you to check an entire site for any signs of bugs, blacklisting, security vulnerabilities, and the presence of hackers. It’s an ideal tool for bloggers and online businesses, but it should be used in addition to other sites that check emails and usernames, just to be safe.

Sucuri also offers a broader suite of security and malware removal services than most, with fees that reach hundreds per year for the professional options. There’s also an option for a WordPress plugin and a Chrome extension for more consistent monitoring.

How do these websites work?

data breaches - information is beautiful

These hack searchers typically work by aggregating data from other sources commonly used to seek hacked data and share it with others. These secondary sources — Pastebin, individual leakers, dark web forums — can be nefarious, which makes it very easy for enterprising hackers to access passwords and login info from data breaches and try them out. Hack search sites, however, use such data tricks as a force for good, allowing you to peek into the same data breach info and see if your own info is there. If it is, you can then change your login data to protect yourself from future trouble.

Unfortunately, there are supposed “security sites” that ironically just want to collect your email and login info for future fraud attempts. Others try tools and features that aren’t well-understood and end up creating even more serious data breaches before abruptly collapsing. You can read what happened to the once-popular Pwnedlist, if you’re in need of a prime example.

Computing

Microsoft says hackers were able to view Outlook.com emails

Microsoft's Outlook.com email platform saw a massive breach that caused confidential data to be accessed by hackers for months. It now appears the problem might have been much worse than initially thought, and worse than Microsoft admitted.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Computing

Federal jury convicts malware creators of hijacking 400,000 computers

Two Romanian men have been convicted by a federal jury for using malware to hijack 400,000 computers in order to steal credit card information, engage in cryptomining, and commit online auction fraud, among a number of other crimes.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Computing

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…
Computing

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Computing

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.