With millions of e-mail addresses and passwords getting compromised by hacker attacks, it’s hard to know if yours has been grabbed by hackers and passed around on the Internet. A web site, Pwned List, centralizes a number of databases of “pwned” or owned e-mail addresses, and is approaching 5 million addresses. They have a simple search tool, so you can enter your e-mail address or user name and find out if it shows up in their database.
If it does, you should immediately change the password for that account. However, if it doesn’t show up, that doesn’t mean the account hasn’t been compromised. Since this site depends on databases and lists that they recover, they certainly don’t have everything that’s been hacked. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to check from time to time for your addresses and accounts that may be susceptible to hack attacks.
We published an article about how to make secure passwords last year following a high-profile hack where some 200,000 e-mail addresses were harvested. It’s a good idea to look at that article to learn how to create the most secure passwords.