A report by Cybernews recently found that a database of more than 3.2 billion email addresses and passwords, including those for hugely popular global digital brands such as LinkedIn, Gmail and Netflix, have been posted on a known hacker forum. This is potentially the largest ever single collection of stolen user data ever seen.
This is not the result of a new data breach, but rather something that is being called a COMB, or Compilation Of Many Breaches. It seems it contains data from breaches going back to at least 2017, and maybe further.
If you regularly use any of these online services, or indeed if you use ANY online services, and have not updated your user details recently, it it very likely that your email address and/or passwords are included in the COMB.
To help you check, Cybernews has created a tool that allows you to enter your email address/addresses and instantly see if it is part of this (and many other) data breaches. You can check out the tool here.
What to do if your data is compromised?
If you find that your email address has been part of this or another data breach, there are a few things you should do immediately:
1 – Change your password on any website you use the email address to log in to. Certainly change it for the important ones such as online banking, Gmail or any business-related websites you might use.
2 – Enable 2-factor authentication on any login that allows it. Many popular online services and websites now allow 2-factor authentication. This increases security by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to a mobile device or email address.