Question: Is there a way to monitor when my passwords have been stolen?

Answer: Breaches are a fact of life on the Internet, so it’s just a matter of time before a hacker gains access to your user name and password online.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is by turning on 2-factor authentication.

The factors are something you know (your user name and password) and something you own (your phone).

Once you turn it on for each of your accounts, whenever your user name and password are used for the first time on any computer, smartphone or tablet, the site will send your phone a special code via text message that you must type in within a short period of time.

This means that even if a hacker does steal your user name and password, they still won’t be able to access your account because they don’t have your phone as well.

This is not something you set up on your phone, you must activate the feature on each of your sensitive online accounts.

• Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio.

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