Unfortunately, piracy has become commonplace on the Internet. And one of the biggest blunders you can make if to think that it will only happen to others, that if you don’t do anything, you’ll never have a problem. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. So how can you know if your account has been hacked? Let’s start with some basic elements:
1. Check if you’ve activated maximum security
If you’re unlucky, the service you use may have been hacked, and a thief would then have access to the service’s database. Service managers may contact you to explain the situation, and if you’re on social media, you’ll find out pretty quickly anyway.
If the target is not a business/service, things depend a little more on yourself. Have you enabled all security settings? For example, some services use a 2-step verification system. The odds of being hacked with this feature are minimized, and even if this were to happen, you would be notified. For example, Google, Facebook and Dropbox will send you a message to let you know that someone has tried to access your account from a new device.
2. Check how safe your password is
If the service is hacked, the quality of your password will not really make a difference but if you are personally targeted, it makes sense to pick a safe password.
So how can you tell if your password is secure enough? You’ve probably heard left, right and center that a secure password must have a mix of numbers, letters and sometimes special characters. The problem is that machines that try to figure out your password are also aware of this, so by creating a mix of these characters, you’re not necessarily making the account impossible to hack, you’re only making it more difficult because they’ll have to test a greater number of combinations that include numbers and special characters. Bill Burr, the creator of the secured password standards, explained the problem. In short, he says to make sure you get creative with your password and make sure it’s not just a single word with characters at the start or end. If your password is “Password31”, you should probably consider making it a bit more complicated.
3. Look at the Sypmtoms
In theory, your account may have been hacked without you even realizing it. In practice, it’s less obvious because if someone has bothered to get hold of your account details, they probably plan to do something with it. Either they’ll use your account directly, for example change your password, purchase things from your account or send spoof mail to your contacts, or they’ll use it indirectly to scrape other information they find in your account. Thus, they can use/sell your personal data, etc.
4. Check online if you have been hacked
If piracy is done on a large scale, you can check whether you were hacked or not. A security expert has created a list of all the victims after every known attack, and allows users to check if their account was hacked. The website is called Have I been pwned? You just have to type in your email address, and the website will tell you whether or not someone knows your password.
You can also type your password and the website tells you if it has been compromised. In both cases, the database is huge (over 300 million passwords) since it gathers hacked accounts from LinkedIn, VK, MySpace, Badoo, Dropbox and many more.