You probably rely on internet services for everything from email to banking. But those online services are a prime target for hackers and we’re constantly hearing about troves of usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data being stolen.
It happens so often that it’s actually kind of hard to keep track of whether your individual data has been compromised. Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned website is a great place to start: enter your email address and it’ll be transmitted securely, a database will be searched, and you’ll find a list of places where you should probably change your password (at the very least).
You can also subscribe to be notified if and when your data is discovered in future breaches.
Or you can use the new Firefox Monitor service, which is… basically the same thing.
Mozilla has been beta testing Firefox Monitor for a few months and is officially launching it today.
The service leverages the Have I Been Pwned database, so there’s honestly not much new here other than a less geeky sounding name. Mozilla also explains that it doesn’t even share your full email address with Hunt’s website, so data is transmitted securely.
Overall, the launch of Firefox Monitor is a good reminder that there’s a pretty good chance your data will be compromised sooner or later, and it’s probably not a bad idea to have a service keeping an eye out for you.
If your data is discovered in a future breach, Firefox Monitor or Have I Been Pwned can send you an email to let you know about it. That way you can change your password if it’s been compromised, delete your account, changer your username, or take other appropriate actions.
And if you want to minimize the risk, you might want to consider using a password manager or another solution that can generate a unique secure password for every service you use so that even if someone does obtain your password for one site, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to login to any other websites.
Keep in mind that Have I Been Pwned and Firefox Monitor can only alert you to known data breaches. If your data has been stolen and the breach hasn’t been discovered or disclosed, you may still be out of luck.