Check to see if your identity information has been lost in data breaches. Have you been pwned?

News about data breaches seem to be in the headlines all the time.  Target, TJ-Max, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Anthem Healthcare, or various hotel and restaurant chains have all had big data breaches.  Do you know if your identity information (login credentials) have been lost in these data breaches?

You can check at Have I Been pwned?  Put in your email address or identity info and see if it exists in a database of over 3 billion records.  By the way, pwned is a computer phrase for “I own your login credentials.”  You can Google the term or read about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn 

By the way, you should “claim” your account at the IRS if you haven’t already done so.  This means you should log in to the IRS site and set up your account with your secret, unique password.  If you don’t, “the bad guys” have a fraud technique where they login to the IRS as you, file your tax return and have the refund sent to them.  Then when you file your taxes, the IRS believes they have already issued your refund.  It was written up by NBC News in 2015 but the IRS had made headway on the problem as reported here in USA Today.

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