RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN ) – Having your identity compromised can be a challenging issue to try and fix, and it would help if you could know in advance that you are at risk.

Now, there is a way you can find out your degree of risk from a free website dedicated to exposing the items stolen in data breaches.

So much of our information is stored in various locations in cyberspace. If it gets out in the open, criminals have access to almost everything about you.

Scammers call it being “Pwned.”

It’s cyberslang for an account whose credentials have been compromised by hackers.

Most of us have no idea if we’ve been “Pwned.”

“I’m pretty secure with my information,” said Raleigh resident Kathleen Shore.

When Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia asked her how she knew her data was safe, she said, “I just know.”

Now, there is a quick easy way to know for sure. It’s a website called “Have I Been PWNED?”

It’s the creation of Australian web security consultant Troy Hunt.

It lets you check if your phone or emails have been involved in a breach.

All you have to do is type in your phone number or email address.

Sbraccia tried it out, first using what he believed was a secure email address.

The website told him, yes, he was in the clear for that account.

But when he plugged in his personal email address it was a different story.

The website showed the password to that email account has been compromised. (Sbraccia immediately changed that password.)

The website does more than tell you that a password has been compromised. It lists all the places on the web where your password has been exposed due to a data breach.

In Sbraccia’s case, there were 10 different places where breaches occurred, dating back more than a decade including a now-defunct Myspace account that was hacked in the early days of the internet.

If you find you’ve been the victim of a breach, you need to cut the criminals off at the electronic pass.

  • Change your email login immediately
  • Never use your email password for any other account
  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts

“If you are reusing passwords, all it takes is for one domino to fall and the rest of your identity is in jeopardy,” said Peter Nicoletti, the chief information security officer for the Americas at Check Point Software Technologies.

You can also sign up for notifications from the website, so you’ll know in the future if your data has been compromised.

The website also has an opt-out feature that lets you ensure your email address is no longer publicly searchable.