A look at Spybot Identity Monitor for Windows
Spybot Identity Monitor is a free software program for Microsoft Windows devices designed to monitor account email addresses using the leak database provided by Have I Been Pwned.
Account databases may leak on the Internet sometimes when a service gets compromised; this happens when the hacker sells the database or puts it or a part of it online.
Leak checking services like Have I Been Pwned add these leaked databases to their own which means that it grows over time. Mozilla integrated Have I Been Pwned recently in a service called Firefox Monitor.
While it is possible to check any email address directly on the service's website and even get notifications when the email is found in a database, some users may prefer to use a program like Spybot Identity Monitor instead as it offers some advantages.
Spybot Identity Monitor
Spybot Identity Monitor is created by Safer Networking, the team behind the popular anti-spyware solution Spybot – Search & Destroy. The program is compatible with Windows 7 to Windows 10, and needs to be installed before it can be used.
The application offers two main advantages over using the Have I Been Pwned website directly:
- You get breach information for as many accounts as you enter.
- The program can recheck the data on every start.
Click on "My Accounts" to add email addresses or usernames that you want to check for breaches. A check is performed as soon as you add a new account to the program's local database.
Spybot Identity Monitor reveals if the email address or username was found in known breaches. You can click on the account name to display the breached services and the date each breach happened or was revealed.
A click on a service's name displays additional breach information. You may get the number of affected accounts, the data that leaked, a short description of what happened, and the source of the information.
All leaks happened in the past but some may be surprising to you nevertheless. Spybot Identity Monitor informs you about leaks but it can't help you do something about it if you have not already.
The suggested course of action is to change the account password or close the account entirely. You may also need to change the password of other services if you used the same password, and may want to consider improving security by enabling two factor authentication or other security features that improve account security.
Identity Monitor supports re-checks of all accounts but will do so only when you enable the option in the settings. The program adds a task to the Task Scheduler which runs the check on logon.
Spybot Identity Monitor is a simple program to monitor email addresses and usernames against the Have I Been Pwned database of leaked account information.
The program offers a better overview in my opinion as you can add as many accounts as you like to it and get information about all of them in the interface. The option to rerun checks on logon is useful if you are particularly worried about accounts.
The application's interface design has a few inconsistency, especially when it comes to the placement of close buttons as they are all over the place.