Find out if your online accounts have been impacted by a security breach

This simple website will let you know in seconds

Find out if your online accounts have been impacted by a security breach

A touchpad keyboard on an iPod Touch | Image: Daniel Law/PA Archive/PA Images

Have you ever read a news report about a data-breach and wondered if any of your accounts were impacted? People rarely worry about issues like this until they have been affected. A Microsoft employee named Troy Hunt has built a website that will tell you if your online account has been impacted by a data breach. 

The website is called Have I Been Pwned and is very simple to use. Insert your email address or username and hit pwned?

Breach

A breach is when a hacker illegally obtains data from a vulnerable system. All of the data on 'Have I Been Pwned' comes from website breaches that have been made publicly available. This website does not store passwords or any other data - it can simply inform you if your account has been targeted. 

The site acknowledges that while it does have an extensive amount of information, it's not an exhaustive list of every breach that has occurred.  

"Many breaches never result in the public release of data and indeed many breaches even go entirely undetected," the site states. "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence or in other words, just because your email address wasn't found here doesn't mean that it hasn't been compromised in another breach."

Hopefully, when you insert your email address or username, you'll see the following result.

 

If your account has been impacted, however, it's recommended that you change your password urgently. It's also worth noting that using the same password for all online accounts makes you vulnerable to hacking.