You often learn long after an intrusion that your personal information has been hacked, when Equifax, Yahoo oryou trust with your information notifies you that your birthday, social security or credit card number, health records or other personal information have been exposed as part of a data breach.
With your stolen information, hackers can do anything from making purchases and opening credit accounts in your name to filing for your tax refunds and making medical claims, all posing as "you." And what's worse, billions of these hacked login details are available on the dark web, nicely packaged for hackers to easily download for free.
You cannot prevent websites from being hacked, but you can take a few steps to limit the damage caused by the violation. If you use a password manager that creates unique passwords, you can ensure that if a site is broken, your stolen password will not allow hackers to access your accounts on other sites. (A good password manager can help you manage all your login information, making it easy to create and then use unique passwords.)
But after a hack, a couple of monitoring tools can alert you to which of your stolen references are out in the wild on the dark web, giving you a start in limiting the damage that thieves can do. Here's how to use two free monitoring tools – Mozilla's Firefox Monitor and Google's password control – to see who sees your emails and passwords that are compromised so you can take action.
How to use Mozilla's Firefox Monitor
Mozilla's free Firefox Monitor service helps you track which of your emails have been part of known data breaches.
first To start, go to the Firefox Monitor page.
2nd Enter an email address and press Check Crime . If the email was part of a known violation since 2007, Monitor will show you what hack it was a part of and what more may have been exposed.
3rd Below a crime, press More about this crime to see what steps Mozilla recommends, such as updating your password.
You can also sign up for Monitor to notify you if your email is involved in a future data breach. Monitor scans your email address against the found data breaches and alerts you if you were involved.
first On the Firefox Monitor page, touch Sign up for alerts .
2nd If you need to, create a Firefox account.
3rd Press Sign in to see a summary of violations for your email.
4th At the bottom of the page you can add additional email addresses to monitor. Mozilla then sends an email to each address you add with a subject line "Firefox Monitor found your information in these violations" when it finds the email address involved in a violation, along with instructions on what to do to follow the violation.  How to Use Google Password Verification
As part of its password manager, Google offers the Password Verifier, which monitors the usernames and passwords you use to log in to sites outside of Google's domain and notifies you of this login information. (You may remember password checking when it was a Chrome extension that you had to add separately to Google's browser. This is the same tool that was inserted into Google's password manager.)
first If you use Google's password service to keep track of your Chrome or Android login information, go to the Google Password Manager site and press Check password .
2nd Press Check password again to verify that you are.
3rd Enter your Google Account password.
4th After thinking a little, Google will show all the problems it found, including compromised, reused and weak passwords.
5th Next to each reused or weak password, there is a Change Password button that you can press to select a more secure one.
How else can you look at fraud
In addition to the tools from Mozilla and Google, you can take some additional steps to look for fraud.
Monitor your credit reports. To help you detect identity theft early, you can request a free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to check if you know of unfamiliar activity, such as a new account that you don't made open. (Note that Equifax itself was part of a massive data breach.) You should also check your credit cards and bank statements for unexpected charges and payments. Unexpected fees can be a sign that someone has access to your account.
Sign up for a. To take a more active hand in looking at fraud, register with a credit monitoring service that constantly monitors your credit report at major credit bureaus and . With a monitoring service, you can set up fraud alerts that notify you if someone is trying to use your identity to create credit. A credit reporting service like LifeLock can cost $ 8 to $ 25 a month – or you can use a free service like the one from Credit Karma that lacks other services, such as monitoring for suspicious use of your social security number.
For more on howsee our guides on how to protect your phone's integrity and what a VPN can and cannot do.