Investors in the online brokerage app Robinhood may want to take steps to protect their credit after a data breach resulted in various information of about 7 million customers being exposed. Of the 7 million exposed, 5 million email addresses were accessed and another 2 million had their full names revealed to the hackers.
On top of that, additional personal information – including name, date of birth, and ZIP code – of about 310 people was exposed. Of those 310, around 10 more customers had even more extensive account details hacked.
Although Robinhood has stated publicly that it is alerting the affected individuals, it’s important to make sure your personal information hasn’t been compromised. With the wide assortment of companies that you entrust your personal information with – Facebook, Linkedin, Uber, Verizon, etc. – you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to find out if your data has been breached. After all, by the time one of these companies alerts you that your data has been exposed, you could already have your birthday, Social Security number, credit card information, health records, or other data stolen.
Any personal information that hackers can retrieve from a data breach could potentially be used to do anything from making purchases to opening up credit accounts, to filing tax refunds or medical claims posing as you. Unfortunately, due to the nature of these data breaches, billions of hacked login credentials are already available on the dark web for hackers to download.
While you can’t stop the sites you use from getting hacked, there are some steps you can take to check if your information has been compromised and limit that potential damage done from the data breach.
First of all, you can use a password manager that creates unique passwords. While this won’t stop data breaches, this will ensure that if a hacker gains access to one of your accounts, they don’t also have the login information and password for the rest of your accounts. A good password manager – like LastPass, Bitwarden, or 1Password – allows you to manage your login information, and make it easy to create and update unique passwords. Many of these password managers also prompt you to update your password every month or so – making it even easier to stay on top of data breaches.
If you suspect your personal information has been stolen due to a cyberattack or just want to make sure data hasn’t been stolen in the past, there are a few monitoring tools that can help you find out – Google’s Password Checkup and Mozilla’s Firefox Monitor. These monitoring services let you check which of your email addresses and passwords are compromised so you can take the appropriate actions. We explain below how to use both of these tools.
How to use Google’s Password Checkup
Google offers a free Password Checkup tool that monitors the usernames and passwords you use to log in to sites outside of Google’s domain and notifies you if those credentials have been exposed.
- If you use Google’s password service to keep track of your login credentials in Chrome or Android, go to Google’s password manager site and select Go to Check passwords.
- Select Check Passwords and verify it’s your account.
- Enter the password for your Google account.
- Google will display any compromised, reused, or weak passwords.
- Next to each reused or weak password there will be a Change password button so you can easily choose a more secure password.
How to use Mozilla’s Firefox Monitor
Mozilla’s free Firefox Monitor service lets you track which of your email addresses have been a part of known data breaches.
- First head to the Firefox Monitor page.
- Enter an email address and select Check for Breaches. If the email you entered was involved in any known data breaches since 2007, Firefox Monitor will show you which hack it was a part of and what else may have been exposed.
- If your data has been exposed, tap More about this breach below the breach to see what was stolen and which steps Mozilla recommends taking next – like changing your password.
Mozilla also offers a service that notifies you of future data breaches. Firefox Monitor will scan your email addresses against those found in data breaches and let you know if your account was hacked.
- To sign up for future updates, tap Sign up for Alerts at the bottom of Firefox’s Monitor page.
- If necessary, create a Firefox account.
- Select Sign in to see a breach summary for your email address.
- At the bottom of the page, you can also add additional email addresses that you’d like Firefox to monitor for you.
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