If you’ve been on the internet for more than a few months, you’ve probably heard about a large number of data breaches that have been happening recently.
The website HaveIBeenPwned is a great resource that lets a visitor put in an email address and see whether or not that email address has been part of one of the publically-known breaches.
This is a great service (and one that you should try out on some of your email addresses), but trying to keep up-to-date on which of your email addresses has been breached would be a very time-consuming task: enter Firefox Monitor.
Firefox Monitor hooks into the HaveIBeenPwned database but lets you monitor several email address and keep track of them in a single place. You can enroll several email addresses and receive email notifications when they appear in new breaches, or keep track of how they have been exposed from a single dashboard.
You can do this all for free (all you need is a Firefox account), by going to https://monitor.firefox.com/ and signing up. While you’re at it, if you’ve been using Chrome, consider giving the Firefox browser a try.
This is another reason, by the way, why you should be using a password manager. Even though these breaches are bad, having a password manager means that every site uses a different, long, and random password. So while someone may get my password for one site (MyFitnessPal), they can’t leverage that password to get into my bank or my email. I recommend LastPass, but there are lots of good options out there.
PS: If you’re using Chrome, make sure to update it immediately. A vulnerability exposed earlier in September lets an attacker take control of your computer by simply having specific code on the website – no user interaction required.
Just visiting the wrong website (or visiting a site that has malicious code in a banner ad) is all it takes! This vulnerability is so bad, Google has fixed it without giving details about the exploit. So, if you don’t want to use Firefox or Safari, at least make sure your Chrome is up-to-date.