In this month’s review we are going to take a look at a service that will help with the security side of your business and even your personal life.
Let me first explain what being pwned even means. The word pwned is a slang or urban word simply meaning “to own” or to be dominated by an opponent or situation. It originated in the gaming community when you had been thoroughly beaten by the game or another opponent. It is said that it originated based on a typo in a game situation such as “dude, you were owned.”
How Does This Relate to Me and My Business?
This term being pwned means that account information such as your email address and password has been “owned” or compromised. I know that many people (myself included) tend to use the same login details.
The problem is that once those credentials have been compromised, your chances of having other accounts breached are multiplied. That is because not only has your information been discovered, but there’s a good chance it has been shared.
So, What is HIBP?
HaveIBeenPwned (HIBP) is a website that provides a free service to check if your email address has been compromised in any data breaches. It was launched in 2013 by Australian security expert and well-known Microsoft professional Troy Hunt, with the aim of helping individuals protect their online identities by providing them with information about data breaches and the impact on their personal information. Since its launch, the website has grown to become one of the most popular and trusted sources for data breach information.
The website works by allowing users to enter their email address into a search bar and then cross-referencing it against the database of breaches that HIBP has collected. If your email address is found in the database, you will be notified of the breaches in which your information has been compromised. HIBP also offers a paid service called “Have I Been Pwned: Trusted Member” which offers more features such as alerts for future breaches and access to additional data.
One of the key features of HIBP is its transparency. The website clearly explains how it collects its data, what data breaches it covers, and how it handles the sensitive information it receives. It also provides an API that allows developers to build tools and services that can integrate with HIBP’s database.
Another advantage of using HIBP is that it provides a wealth of information about each breach. For example, when you search for a breach, you can see the number of accounts affected, the type of information that was leaked, and the date of the breach. This information can help you to assess the impact of the breach on your personal information and take steps to protect yourself.
In addition to its data breach information, HIBP also provides educational resources and tips on how to keep your online information safe. This includes advice on creating strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and securing your online accounts. This makes HIBP a comprehensive resource for anyone looking to protect their online identity.
One of the drawbacks of HIBP is that it only covers data breaches and not any other types of cyber threats, such as hacking or identity theft. However, this is understandable given that HIBP’s primary focus is data breaches. Additionally, while the website is highly regarded in the security community, some may not trust its database because it is not maintained by a government agency or large corporation. IMHO, I find that it being an independent entity reassuring as to not be tainted by “official” policies and oversight.
Overall, HaveIBeenPwned is an excellent resource for anyone looking to protect their online identity. Its easy-to- use interface, transparency, and wealth of information make it a valuable tool for anyone concerned about the security of their personal information. Whether you are an individual looking to check if your email has been compromised or a security professional looking for information about data breaches, HIBP is a must-visit website.
HaveIBeenPwned is a highly recommended website for anyone concerned about the security of their personal information online. Its comprehensive database of data breaches, educational resources, and tips on how to stay safe online make it a valuable tool for protecting your online identity. Whether you are an individual or a security professional, HIBP is a website that you should definitely check out.
I couldn’t post this review without giving some tips on password security as I’m guessing after reading this, you will want to look over your passwords.
Creating a secure password is a crucial step in protecting your online identity and personal information. With data breaches becoming more frequent and sophisticated, it is essential to have a strong password to safeguard your accounts and information. Here are some tips for creating a secure password:
- Length: Make sure your password is at least 12 characters long. The longer the password, the more secure it will be.
- Complexity: Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and both upper/lower case characters. Avoid using simple words, common phrases, or easily guessable information like your name, date of birth, or favorite sports team.
- Uniqueness: Do not reuse passwords. Each of your accounts should have a unique password. This will prevent a hacker who has gained access to one of your accounts from accessing all of your accounts.
- Phrase-Based Passwords: Instead of using a single word, use a phrase or sentence that you can remember easily. For example, “I love dogs more than cats” can be converted into “ILvDgs>Cats!”.
- Avoid Personal Information: Avoid using personal information such as your name, address, phone number, or birthdate in your password. This information is easily accessible to hackers and can be used to crack your password.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication wherever You may also see two-factor Authentication listed as 2FA. This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts and requires you to provide an additional piece of information in addition to your password to gain access.
- Use a Password Manager: Consider using a password manager to securely store your passwords and generate random and secure passwords for you. My favorite that I’ve used for years now is 1Password. Look for it in an upcoming review.
In conclusion, creating a secure password is an essential step to protecting your online identity and personal information. By following these tips, you can ensure that your passwords are strong, unique, and difficult to crack. Remember, a secure password is your first line of defense against hackers, so take the time to create one that will keep your information safe.