Chrome: Keeping up on the latest security information is tough and odds are good that you don’t think about website hacks very much unless you see a headline that a particular site or service exposed your user name and password.
A new, free service called HackNotice, created by Steve Thomas (co-founder of the now-disgraced PwnedList), gives you a convenient way to stay more informed about whether the site you’re viewing in your Chrome browser has been recently hacked.
All you need is a simple Chrome extension that launched earlier this month.
The extension’s premise is simple: Visit a site on HackNotice’s ever-growing list of hacked sites and you’ll get a little pop-up warning in your browser that alerts you about the hack. Click on it and you’ll be able to jump to a HackNotice listing that provides more information about what happened and links to relevant news articles.
Though the app doesn’t warn you if the hack directly impacted you — you’ll want something like PassProtect for that — you’ll at least get a warning that you might need to investigate your favourite site (or sites).
My only issue with the HackNotice extension is that setting it up for the first time is a minor pain in the butt. Install the extension in your browser and then visit HackNotice’s website to sign up for an account. When you do, you’re taken to a giant dashboard. Ignore that for now and click on “Preferences” on the site’s left sidebar.
Scroll down until you see the “Chrome Browser Extension” listing and click on “Generate Key”. This ties the extension to your account on the site and seems to be a necessary step before it can warn you about anything.
Copy the key, click on the HackNotice extension’s icon near Chrome’s address bar, paste it in and click on “Submit”. You’ll get a little notice that it worked and you can go back to browsing the web as you regularly do. If you see a notice in the lower-right corner of your screen that the site you’re visiting was hacked, tread carefully — and maybe change your password, just in case: