How to know if you have been hacked

Hackers and scammers are a constant threat on the internet . Everything from social media accounts to email addresses can be attacked at any time. 

Many websites have leaked passwords. Attackers can download databases of usernames and passwords and use them to “hack” your accounts. This is why you shouldn’t reuse passwords for important websites , because a leak on one site can give attackers everything they need to log into other accounts you own.

Any account you have on the Internet can be in jeopardy, so how can you tell if your accounts or passwords have ever been hacked ? Here are the signs to watch out for to see if you are at risk of being hacked.

Table of Contents

Option 1: Use Have I Been Pwned?

Troy Hunt’s Have I Been Pwned website maintains a database of username and password combinations from public leaks . These are taken from publicly available breaches that can be found through various sites on the web or on the dark web  . This database simply makes it easier to verify without visiting the innermost parts of the web.

To use this tool, go to the main page  Have I Been Pwned?  and directly search for a username or email address that you think may be compromised.  The results tell you if your username or email address has ever appeared in a leaked database . Repeat this process to verify multiple email addresses or usernames. You will see in which leaked password your email address or username appears, which in turn gives you information about the passwords that could have been compromised.

If you would like to be notified by email if your email address or username appears in a future data breach, click the ” Notify me ” link at the top of the page and enter your email address.

You can also look up a password to see if it ever appeared in a data breach. Go directly to  Pwned Passwords , type a password in the box and then click the ” pwned ?” Button . . You will see if the password is in one of these databases and how many times it has been seen. Repeat this as many times as you like to verify additional passwords.

NOTE  : We strongly recommend that you do not type your password on third-party websites that ask for it. These can be used to steal your password if the website is not secure. We only recommend that you use this option on the Have I Been Pwned website, which is widely trusted and supported. In fact, the popular password manager 1Password now has a button that uses the same API as Have I Been Pwned’s website, so they will send hashed copies of your passwords to this service as well . If you want to check if your password has been leaked, this is the service with which you should do it safely.

If an important password that you use has been leaked, we recommend that you change it immediately. You should use a password manager to make it easy to set strong and unique passwords for each important site you use. Two-factor authentication  can also help protect your critical accounts by preventing attacks from entering them without an additional security code, even if they know the password.

Option 2: Use ‘Dehashed’

Dehashed is another powerful tool to verify the security of your information online. Unlike the previous tool, Dehashed covers more than email addresses . You can enter any search term, such as a previous username , and the site will crawl the internet to see if some of your information is publicly available. The site includes tools to help you remove any personal data entries that you find.

You should use Dehashed if you are concerned that old usernames that you no longer use will be compromised.  Your full legal name, address, and phone number can be searched . For security reasons, you will need to create an account before you can verify the details of any data you find.

Option 3: Check the security of the websites you visit

It is advisable to check the sites that you regularly use where you enter private data to make sure they are secure . You can use the free Sucuri Site Checker service to ensure that the sites you visit frequently are safe.

Go to Sucuri Site Checker and enter the address of any website. The site will give you a list of the potential risks of the site and if it has good security. If any of the sites you use regularly turn out to be buggy, you should act immediately. It would be better if you change the passwords associated with the indicated site.

If you know that it has been hacked, this is what you should do

You may have noticed that your passwords have changed or that you have received suspicious login alert emails from the online services you are using. If you can’t access your account online and can’t get it back, it could have been hacked. Here are some immediate steps to take if your online account has been hacked.

First things first: notify your friends, family and followers

Your friends and family should know that one or more of your accounts has been hacked. The reasons are:

  1. Most hackers hack for financial gain, and when they access your account, they will try to scam or blackmail you or try to scam your friends or followers from your hacked account. Think about it, if you received a message from your father, brother or best friend, to send you a code from his phone, would you trust him, right?
  2. The second reason is that the hacker can post sensitive content on your own social profiles. Depending on the content this could cause you serious problems.

Never pay a ransom

If you have been hacked and hackers have contacted you to demand a ransom, please do not respond and definitely do not pay. By paying hackers for their illegal activities, you are indirectly funding and supporting their operations , which means that they can continue to harm other people and businesses.

If this happens, you should contact the local police and file a report. What is important to know about most hackers is that they do it for money. The moment they understand that they won’t see a single euro, they may leave you alone and go on to extort money from their next victim. Most extortion attempts are superficial and will not materialize.

Suspicious logins

Today, most online services let you know if you have logged in with a different computer, IP, or browser. If you don’t recognize a login , you should take immediate action and protect your account as follows:

  1. Change Password
  2. Add 2FA ( two factor authentication )
  3. Add additional levels of security that the service provides

Can’t log into your services?

If hackers have changed your password and / or email and you are unable to log back into your own account, you must follow the service protocol for hacked accounts. You can often restore recent changes from email alerts sent by the service. If that doesn’t help, you should try contacting the customer service for the service in question and see if they can help you.

Follow our anti-hacking protocol

If you’re sure you’ve been hacked, these may be a good basis to proceed:

  1. Change the passwords for all online accounts that you still have access to and secure them as quickly as possible.
  2. It is important to protect your primary email account bychanging the password, implementing a recovery email, and enabling two-factor authentication.
  3. Inform all your friends and family that you have been hacked to make sure they are not scammed by hackers pretending to be you.
  4. Assess which accounts have been hacked and what information hackers have stolen about you and your network.
  5. Do not create a new profile or account on the same platform that you were hacked on with the same credentials, such as email or phone number. This makes it much more difficult to recover your account.

Once you get a full overview of the situation and secure all other accounts online, you can try to get your hacked accounts back. Review all emails and see if you can find security alerts from the service you lost access to. Also try resetting your hacked account password, using the email option and the SMS option where applicable. If that does not help you with the problem, contact the support of the service you are using so that they can indicate the best way to proceed.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment