News about big hacks and the publication of user databases have slowed down considerably in past months.
Some of the user databases that the hackers dumped during the hack were published on the Internet afterwards. Not all listed unencrypted passwords but some did and even though companies did ask users to change - all of their - online account passwords, it is likely that some users may have missed those announcements completely.
The free online service HackNotifier is more or less a frontend that users can use to search for email addresses that were leaked in hacking attempts.
You basically enter your email address - or the email address of someone else into the form on the main page to see if it was listed in at least one of the hacked user databases.
You then get to review your status on the next page. The service lets you know immediately if your account is insecure and if it has been compromised.
HackNotifier lists the company that was compromised and the day it happened. A link points to third party websites that offer additional information about the hack. It then asks you to change your account passwords if you have not already done so.
Users can sign up for the company's service to receive notifications when their email account gets hacked again. This obviously is only effective if the hackers publish the user database on the Internet. The service at the time of writing has information about 20 leaks and almost 1.5 million accounts in their database.
HackNotifier assures that they do not save email addresses that users enter on their front page to check whether the account has been compromised.
Probably the biggest issue is that most hackers do not dump user databases publicly. It can still be frightening to see your email address listed as compromised on the results page.
Update: Note that the site's last update dates back to 2012. Unless it gets updated again, it is not really useful anymore to check email addresses.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.