A data breach is the release of massive amounts of personal information of millions of users who were using some online service. The data breach could be unintentional and might be due to some unknown software glitch or vulnerability. It could also be the result of targeted hack attempts by professional hackers. In any case, this data appears on the internet underground – sometimes offered in exchange of money.
It is very easy to check if your personal information was included in the latest data breaches. F-Secure offers a free online tool that can be used to search all the data breaches for your personal information. Even though these data breaches are often multiple terabytes of database files, F-Secure takes only a few seconds to lookup your information across all these data breach databases.
All you have to do is visit the F-Secure Identity Theft Checker website at https://www.f-secure.com/en/home/free-tools/identity-theft-checker. Then you can enter your email address that you want to check whether it appears in any of these data breaches. After entering your email address, you have to click on the button labeled Check for Breaches.
In a matter of seconds, it will start displaying a list of data breaches in which your email address seems to have appeared. All the data breaches in the list are named if they are not under investigation by the security agencies. It also displays what kind of information was leaked, for example, your username, email address, password, home address, mobile number etc. It also sends a full report to your email address so that you can have a look at it anytime later.
If your email address is included in the data breaches, then the first thing you should do is quickly change the password for that account, security settings or password recovery questions, and enable two-factor authentication if it is available for that account. F-Secure also recommends some of very good security software in their data breaches report.