Pella Chronicle

December 10, 2013

Check your online security in one easy step

By MATT MILNER
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — It happens with alarming regularity: there’s a report of a massive breach of security on social media or a shopping website, but you have no way to know whether your information was part of the breach.

There’s a solution that’s as simple as it comes: http://haveibeenpwned.com.

The website doesn’t ask for passwords, personal data or anything else sensitive to your online life. In fact, there’s only one field on the entire site, and it’s for your email address.

If you’re doing business online, or engaging in social media, you have most likely given your email address as verification that you’re a person rather than a machine. So haveibeenpwned checks the email against the breaches of security. That allows you to determine whether you need to go in and reset your passwords for the accounts.

Checking is quick and simple. If you’re clear, you know it. If not, you know to take action to protect your information. Either way, 30 seconds isn’t too much to ask for online peace of mind.

What does the website’s name mean, you ask? In internet lingo, pwned means owned or controlled. So the name asks whether your data has been compromised.