The past couple of years have seen a number of high-profile attacks by hackers on some of the world's best-known web sites. You can't have failed to notice news coverage of the Ashley Madison hack recently, in which the details of some 30 million extramarital thrill-seekers were leaked.
Whether you've been a customer of Ashley Madison, Adobe, Sony, Snapchat, Gawker, or any other affected system, there's a web site that maintains a searchable database of hacked (also known as "owned", or "pwned" in hacker-speak) email addresses. So if you want to check that your email address isn't one of 220 million in the database, just head to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ in order to find out.
In most cases, you can just type in your email address for an instant result. Understandably, though, because of the sensitive nature of the most recent hack, you'll need to sign up for the site's free alert service. If your details were on the AM database, you'll then receive a notification. Simply typing friends and colleagues' addresses in order to discover whether they were on the list won't work.
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