Have You Been Pwned?

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You probably think I misspelled the word “pwned” in the title of this post.  Believe it or not, I didn’t.  It’s Internet Slang.  Yes, there is such a thing.  Pwned is slang for being “owned,” “dominated,” or “perfectly owned.”  It’s origin is widely thought to be from an online gamer who simply misspelled the word owned.  We may never know, but for the purpose of this post, it is a reference to the website https://haveibeenpwned.com/.

pwned

This site is the creation of Troy Hunt, a Microsoft Regional Director and blogger.  What Troy has created is a great public service.  From his About page:

“I created Have I been pwned? as a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or “pwned” in a data breach. I wanted to keep it dead simple to use and entirely free so that it could be of maximum benefit to the community. ”

From one technology professional to another, thank you Troy!  The world needs more people like you.

This is a great site where you may enter your email address to check to see if it has ever been publicly disclosed as part of a breach.  At current count, the site is tracking exposed email messages from 220 breached websites and 3,805,757,030 breached accounts.  Yes, that is three billion with a B!  The site also lets you know if your account has been “pasted.”  This is when a breached account is made available on a public forum of breached data.

You may even subscribe for updates whenever your email address or addresses are found to be breached.  I highly recommend you sign up for this as there is presently no better way to proactively watch to see if you account information may be exposed.  If it is, you will want to immediately change the password on the site where your account was breached, as well as on any other site where you used this email and password for your login.

Check it out, you’ll be glad you did and hopefully it will tell you “Good news – no pwnage found!”