How to Know If Your Password Has Leaked Online

It doesn’t matter if your password is 32
characters long, alphanumeric, and would take several quintillion years to
crack—it’s not secure. As a matter of fact, anything that touches the Internet
isn’t secure!

This is because password security does not only
come at the discretion of the user who has created it but also the server that
it’s being stored on. For a website to verify your login credentials, your
password must be stored in their database. That means that if the server
mishandles it or gets hacked, you pay the price.

As we move into an internet where we’ve started pondering replacements for traditional passwords, websites that monitor for password dumps have become increasingly popular.

The most unfortunate part is that these dumps are often due to websites being hacked, not users, which feels incredibly unfair for those of us suffering the consequences.

There’s nothing that we can do to change the
fact that databases are susceptible to breaches and that our data isn’t sacred,
so we must learn to do the next best thing: constantly monitor for our
passwords being leaked to the Internet.

In this article, let’s go over a few of the
best websites to help you monitor if your passwords have been leaked online.

Have I Been Pwned

First, let’s talk about the name. The word
“pwn” is a form of leetspeak derived from “own,” a term people often used in
internet culture—usually by gamers—to describe defeating someone in some way.

To use Have I Been Pwned, simply type in your email address and hit the pwned? Button.

You’ll either (luckily) be told that your
passwords are safe or you’ll see how many breached sites and pastes your
passwords have been found on.

Have I Been Pwned will then show you a list of
all of the websites and pastes your passwords have been found on.

Have I Been Pwned also includes a section of
their site called “Pwned Passwords” where, rather than by email, you can search
by password. This will let you know if that password is already floating around
in dumps across the Internet.

Have I Been Pwned is generally viewed as the
gold standard in password monitoring, and we recommend that you check it out
first.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma has a reputation as the leading service to monitor your credit, but did you know that they have awesome data monitoring features, too—including password breaches?

Credit Karma goes above and beyond all other password monitoring sites, even showing you a censored version of the password leaked on each site listed. All you have to do is log in, go to their Identity Monitoring page, and click View details under the Data Breach Monitoring table.

The only downside is that you do have to
create a Credit Karma account to see these results. However, is that really a
bad thing? Isn’t it a little sketchy that these other password dump monitors
allow you to search for any email address? This could lead to some nefarious
activity.

If you already have a Credit Karma account,
make use of this. It’s one of the most untapped ways of tracking your passwords
on the Internet. Take advantage of it and you’ll know exactly which of your
passwords to do away with.

DeHashed

DeHashed is an interesting spin on the average password dump monitor, allowing you to not only search by email but also by username, address, and more. After, click the Search button to see your results.

When searching, DeHashed will display the
sites where your password has been leaked. However, you won’t be able to view
the dump or see the specific password without registering and paying.
Nonetheless, just seeing the results offers a lot of information that you can
use to protect yourself.

DeHashed is a solid final choice that may help
you find leaked passwords that Have I Been Pwned and Credit Karma weren’t able
to pick up on. Although it’s a bit bare on features compared to the other two,
it doesn’t hurt to see what DeHashed has to offer. It may save a few of your
passwords.

Just last month, the Collection #1 credentials dump released with over 2.7 billion records. Every week, this is happening on a smaller scale. It’s a powerless feeling to know that we can’t stop this from happening, but we have to stay informed and ready to take action when it does. Creating a strong password for each site you sign up for helps, too.

With Have I Been Pwned, Credit Karma, and
DeHashed, check your emails and passwords on a monthly basis. You’ll be able to
jump on leaks as soon as they pop up, and you might be surprised at what you
find!

Can Someone Know When I’ve Opened Their Email?

The days of requesting read receipts are long behind us. If you’ve been on the Internet for quite a while, you may remember email pop-ups asking for your consent to inform the sender that you’ve opened the email. These still exist at some capacity today, but other, more sneaky tracking methods have since taken over.

One of the first things that many people do
when they get a new phone and begin texting is to turn off read receipts. No
ones like having someone else believe that they’re ignoring them, and that “R”
has gone as far as to end relationships. Most people want their messages
responded to immediately after they’re read.

You may have never realized it, but this same
effect exists in email—except it’s much more difficult for the average user to
“turn it off.”

In this article, let’s talk about the invasive
ways that people have been tracking when you’ve opened their emails and how you
can protect yourself against this.

What is an Email Tracking Pixel?

Your average email reader isn’t aware of just
how powerful an invisible image actually is. Just by loading a single-pixel,
1×1 image, you’re giving away so much information about your machine.

When you load this image, the server it’s
hosted on can place all sorts of information about your device in a database,
like your IP address, location, browser, and more.

Other variables can be passed as well, like
the email address you’re reading from (based on the address it was sent to) and
the time when the email was viewed.

Email senders can embed a transparent image in
the body of an email that they send to you, and you’ll never even know this is
happening. Not fair, right? The good news is that you don’t have to be a victim
of this breach of privacy.

How Can I Prevent Someone from Knowing When I’ve Opened Their Email?

There are options that make it easy for anyone to track the opening of their emails, such as MailTracker, but large companies will often use a corporate or in-house solution. If this wasn’t the case, it’d be easy to simply add certain domains to your internet privacy settings so that images from them are never loaded.

However, a more wide-reaching solution does
exist: disabling the display of images across all emails. This option is
available in practically every modern email client, except Windows 10 Mail,
including Gmail’s web and mobile interfaces.

To find this setting in Gmail, click on the cog icon in the upper-right corner of
Gmail’s web app and then click on Settings.

This will take you into your Gmail’s settings.
Under the default General tab, you
should see an Images option label.
Here, be sure that Ask before displaying
external images
is selected. If it’s not, select it and click the Save Changes button at the bottom of
the page.

Now, any time you view an email, the images will be blocked by default. This will prevent tracking pixels from being able to collect any information from you. You’ll be surprised how many “text” only emails have small little images inside them.

An added plus is that you can still display
images within an email on a one-time basis or by completely whitelisting a
sender’s address, as shown in the two links below the “Images are not displayed,” line. This helps with the annoyance of
constantly confirming to display images from senders you trust.

You may build up some confidence and begin
allowing images from senders that you aren’t as familiar with and find that
when you do, no visible images appear. Weird, right? You’re probably being
tracked!

One of the many shortcomings of the Windows 10 Mail app is that it doesn’t support this feature. It seems like Windows has gone with a “less is more” approach in their latest email client, shifting away from Outlook.

Even if you set up your Gmail in Windows 10 Mail, with images blocked through the Gmail web app, this still won’t do the trick. Windows 10 Mail also doesn’t support requesting read receipts for your sent emails.

No matter what email client you choose to
block images in, you’ll be a safer and more private email reader. Many
advertisers use tracking pixels to gather statistics about their ad campaigns,
but they can be used for much more nefarious purposes. You’re better off not
opening yourself up to this possibility from untrusted senders.

Always deny read receipts and block images
from email senders that you don’t trust. Following these two rules will allow
you to be the most stealthy email reader you can be!

Manage Your Twitter Lists in Chrome the Easy Way

Twitter Lists are one of Twitter’s most underrated features. They provide a way to follow groups of Twitter users without having them appear on your Timeline.

Twitter Lists act as an extension of the Timeline and allow users to better organize and keep track of accounts that interest them. Using Lists lets you instantly view only the content you want to see.

For example, Twitter users interested in sports often default to just following accounts like ESPN and Sky Sports. However, tweets from these accounts can be drowned out by the noisier, more active users on your Timeline.

To fix this, you could create a Twitter List named “Sports News” and put ESPN, Sky Sports, and as many other Twitter accounts as you want on it. Then, when you visit that Twitter List, you’ll only see recent tweets from the users on it.

However, Twitter doesn’t do a great job of
supporting Lists. Adding a user to a List from your Timeline requires three
clicks across two pages. Often times, you may be scrolling down your Timeline
and not want to lose your place to do this. Although you can open the account
in a new tab, it’s a slow and discouraging process.

Luckily for Google Chrome users, Twitter Lists
Redux makes managing your Twitter Lists much easier.

Install Twitter Lists Redux

Twitter Lists Redux
can be installed from the official Chrome Web Store. Although the installation
will place an icon in your extensions bar (right of the address bar), there is
no functionality associated with the icon.

All of Twitter Lists Redux’s features build
onto Twitter, so you’ll need to go to the official website to see how it works.

Go to Twitter

If you’ve yet to create any Twitter Lists,
make a few empty Lists that you think will be useful to you. You can do that by
clicking Lists across the navigation
bar of your profile page.

After you’ve created some Lists, you’ll notice
that Twitter Lists Redux makes them accessible via your Timeline. On the
left-hand column, beneath your statistics and above the current Trends, you’ll
now see your Lists.

Already, this is a big step towards making
your Lists easier to use. You can now get to your Lists straight from your
Timeline instead of expending several extra clicks through your profile page.

Manage Your Lists

You used to have to go all the way to a user’s
profile, click the hamburger menu icon,
and click “Add or remove from lists…”—now,
you can add or remove a user to your Lists by hovering their username on your Timeline.

You can do this from any other page where
hovering a Twitter username brings up the profile card, including your other
Lists and other users’ Timelines.

Another feature that Twitter Lists Redux enables
is sorting your Lists in alphabetical order.

By default, your Lists are sorted in
alphabetical order. If you’d like to reset the sorting order, click the slider icon and then click Reset sorting. This will order your
Lists based on when they were created, newest first.

If you ever want to sort your Lists
alphabetically again, just repeat that same process: click the slider icon and then click Sort alphabetically.

Twitter Lists Redux is one of the smallest,
simplest, and most powerful Chrome extensions for Twitter.
Before installing it, Twitter Lists feel like a chore. After, they unlock a
whole new way to use one of the world’s most popular social networks.

How to See Who Has Unfollowed You on Twitter

Becoming an influencer on Twitter isn’t an
easy task. Analyzing when Twitter users have followers or unfollowed you can
help you better understand what type of content your followers appreciate. This
also applies to us average Joes—sometimes it’s nice to know when and why our
Twitter followers have abandoned us.

Whether it’s industry colleagues or just
friends that you’ve met online, being able to track your followers allows you
to stay on top of your social media presence. Not to mention, how about those mutuals
that unfollow you? Is it in your best interest to continue following them? This
is a choice you can make as soon as you have access to the data.

We’ve tried many solutions when it comes to
monitoring your Twitter followers count. Several of them force you to post an
obnoxious tweet that advertises how many followers you’ve gained or lost.
Others will direct message you every day with insignificant statistics. For
those interested in a less verbose alternative, we’ve found one.

Using Who Unfollowed Me, you can track each
and every gained or lost follow for any of your Twitter accounts.

Log in to Who Unfollowed Me’s
Website

To begin using Who Unfollowed Me,
you’ll need access to a web browser and your login information for Twitter.

After logging into the Twitter account you want to track, you’ll be redirected to a page that shows all of your recent statistics. However, this data should be full of zeros since you’ve only just begun tracking your account with Who Unfollowed Me.

When you return to Who Unfollowed Me at a later
date, at a minimum of 14 minutes later, you’ll begin to see your follow and
unfollow counts. The Most Recent
section shows your data since your last visit to Who Unfollowed Me, and the Last 30 Days section shows your data
within the past up-to-30 days (can be less if you’re a new user).

Viewing Who Unfollowed You

On this same Dashboard page, you’ll see buttons under each of your follow or
unfollow counts that allow you to access lists of the corresponding Twitter
users.

For example, clicking on the See Unfollower History button takes you to the page shown in the screenshot above. Here, the following information is displayed:

  • Twitter photo and
    name
  • Following count
  • Followers count
  • Total tweets

Additionally, you can follow or unfollow these
users under the rightmost column. This makes it easier to keep you follows (and
unfollows) mutual.

Speaking of mutuals, it’s easy to overlook Who
Unfollowed Me’s features for managing yours.

In the navigation bar across the top of the
page, clicking Connections will
allow you to view lists of users who aren’t following you, who you aren’t following,
and your mutual followers. These lists are limited to the 100 most-recent
users, but if you aren’t wildly popular and check frequently, it’s easy to
manage.

Who Unfollowed Me is the best way to view your
Twitter unfollowers and we hope this guide has helped you unlock its benefits.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to track how often you’re using this service,
since your recent unfollowers are tracked since the time you last used it. Good
luck with your growth on Twitter!