In today’s day and age, having the right tools to ensure your digital safety and security is key. With that in mind we developed and are thrilled to share our latest feature – Password Monitoring! If you have an email address, which chances are that you do, as it’s estimated that there are nearly 4 billion email users worldwide, this feature and helpful blog is for you.
Our email addresses provide a direct connection to us and the digital world. They serve as a way to communicate with friends, family and colleagues, and they grant us access and ownership to endless accounts for consumption- whether with media or with physical goods. And because that consumer access can sometimes truly feel limitless, it’s very common that a majority of us use our email addresses for multiple reasons, with multiple logins, across multiple platforms. Platforms like Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – as well as others like Netflix, Amazon, PayPal, Expedia, and more. It’s for this exact reason that we created this feature. So that you are able to use your email address in multiple places, while being protected along the way. With WOTs Password Monitoring, we’re offering constant privacy protection and account protection. You’ll receive alerts through our Chrome extension if your password was leaked in a data breach as well as what you can do to prevent it from happening again as well as what you can do to begin protecting yourself in that moment.
What is a data breach?
A “data breach” is a common term used to describe any instance where someone gains access to electronic data or confidential information that they were not supposed to. If your personal or work email address gets hacked, that is also classified as a data breach. However, data breaches can also happen on a large scale where well-known organizations are targeted for all of the valuable user information they have. Maybe you’ve even heard of some of the largest data breaches in the 21st century across organizations like LinkedIn, Facebook, the Marriott hotels group and more.
And while these breaches happened almost 3 years ago in 2019, it can still be quite nerve wracking for all of us operating in the digital world. Especially since in 2021, the nearly 530 million data points leaked from Facebook were posted for free online. Highlighting the criminal intent behind this, and the true need for password safety and awareness. To learn more about password safety, check out our blog covering the 5 best practices for password security in celebration of 2022’s World Password Day.
The reason why some of the largest organizations in the world face data breaches is because they are all safely collecting private – and valuable – information through their users’ accounts. The data is typically analyzed so they can serve their audience and customers more personalized, relevant experiences. However, because of the type of data collected like Email, passwords, birthdates, personal phone numbers, and more makes for a very tempting purchase from those operating on the DarkNet.
A general rule of thumb is to worry about your cybersecurity and protection before your accounts ever have the chance to become compromised. Which is why it’s important to create a secure plan that will protect you, and your family, or loved ones across all aspects of the internet. And part of doing that is by being proactive, being unique with your passwords, being aware of potential threats, staying educated on new digital safety trends, and using WOTs Password Monitoring feature.
- Anything you have online that you cannot afford to lose should always be made into backup files. Download or take screenshots of all important documents and save them in secure folders, or on USBs or secure hard drives. William Antonelli, tech reporter and expert for Business Insider suggests to also keep a close eye on your finances by checking your bank statements on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Antonelli also recommends signing up for a credit monitoring service that will keep track of any suspicious activity within your credit report. The more hands-on and proactive you are, the safer you and your information will be.
- Be unique with your passwords. This is something we cannot stress enough. Even if you think you have a strong password, you can always double, or even triple check its strength, as well as change it often. It’s always a good practice to make sure you aren’t using the same password across each of your accounts as it’s one of the simplest ways a hacker can have easy and quick access across your accounts.
- Have fun, but stay cautious. These days, hackers are getting more creative in the ways that they try to steal your data and information. Emails can look like they were sent from Netflix themselves. If you are being asked to submit personal information, or re-enter passwords, always check the sender. It might say @netflix.com but maybe it has one single letter missing within the address. Check the body of the email for typos, additional spaces, too many periods, or strange formatting. These are always indicators that this really didn’t come from Netflix and that someone is trying to steal your information from one simple click. Once you’ve identified that this could be a potential scam, report it as spam so it won’t ever reach your inbox again. If you’re looking for additional tips on how to spot and stop phishing attacks, we’ve got you covered.
- Utilize our Password Monitoring feature via WOTs Chrome extension and ensure both constant account protection and account monitoring. As part of the extension, we will perform scans every 24 hours to monitor if your email address has been part of a data breach. If so, you will immediately receive an alert and message via the extension to know, and most importantly where the breach took place, so that you’re able to make the necessary changes to secure your account(s) again. We will offer support on how you can avoid these types of breaches in the future, whether it’s by implementing a two-factor authentication software for enhanced password security, or by informing you of the websites you are visiting that could be putting your digital safety at risk. As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to set up auto-scans across your devices so that potential security threats or breaches are detected early.
The internet is part of our everyday life. There’s no avoiding it. And while it brings us a lot of benefits, learning, and fun, it’s something we always have to remember to be careful with. Especially from the standpoint of password protection and security as data breaches are only becoming more common. However, a few things that we do have on our side against the world of growing hackers are things like password monitoring, ‘zero-knowledge encryption’ across organizations, and constant learnings of new ways to create more secure passwords.