The short answer would be yes, but how can you tell that your personal information has been breached?

Personal data breaches happen when there is a breach in security that leads to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This data can range from first names and phone numbers to identity numbers, street addresses, and even banking details. Once the database has been breached, cyber criminals will most likely sell this information to online criminal groups who seek to use this information for profit.

If your personal information has been leaked, either accidentally or intentionally, it is advised that, firstly, you find out where the breach came from. Luckily, there is a reputable website that scours the internet for any breaches containing your email address or phone number. By visiting Have I Been Pwned and entering your email address or phone number, you can see a list of sites containing your personal information that have experienced data breaches.

From there, you can know which websites and accounts need to have their password changed. It’s advised that you use a password vault such as 1Password or LastPass. These generate strong passwords and keep them stored in a vault with one master password. All you need to do is remember the master password and you should be good to go. Password managers make it easy to have long and complicated passwords without the fear of forgetting them. It also generates a unique password for every site that you use it to sign up with, further protecting your data.

Using two-factor authentication is always advised, but particularly after a data breach. With two-factor authentication, or 2FA, an extra layer of security is provided as the user must input additional identification details to ensure it is the owner of the account trying to access it, and not a cyber-criminal.

Although its always important to monitor your account activity, it is especially important after a data breach. Hackers could gain access to your personal accounts and wreak havoc in your online and real life. Be sure to keep an eye on your financials, too. Check your bank statements and look for any suspicious activity.

Data breaches can often leave us feeling helpless, so using a digital risk protection platform, such as CyberSharp Protect, can help keep your mind at ease. CyberSharp Protect will monitor all the information about you on the internet and alert you when your information has been involved in a data breach, adding an extra line of security in your online life.