I am curious about how I can limit the consequences of an identity theft. I see a lot of discussion and advice about managing passwords securely or blocking malware. But what if it happens?

What if one or more of my digital identities get compromised? Is there more to say than doing a clean install and changing all the passwords that still work? How can I best prepare for this incident? Does someone has experience with mapping the dependencies between his online accounts? Can I valorize an account?Is there a way to compartmentalize my digital life now to limit possible future damage?

1 Answer 1


The best thing you can do to help minimize damage if one of your online accounts gets hacked is to make sure that none of the information in that account can be used to get into one of your other accounts. Say you use the same username and password for multiple accounts, if one of those accounts is hacked it will compromise all your other accounts. You can minimize this risk by:

  • using different passwords for every account
  • use different usernames for every account
  • use different security questions and answers for every account

Also, these are good practices:

  • Have all your credit card details and emergency phone numbers recorded so you can get them cancelled and re-issued if an account containing your card details is compromised
  • Keep a list of all your online accounts, monitor them if one of your accounts is compromised
  • 2
    In addition, I recommend creating a gmail account that is used ONLY with financial websites and enabling two factor authentication for that gmail account.
    – k1DBLITZ
    Nov 29, 2012 at 20:04
  • Using a password manager like KeePass can help with taking care of points 1 & 2 (different username/password)
    – KennyC
    May 22, 2013 at 6:56
  • You don't always get to choose a user name; more and more sites are using email addresses as user name because that solves the uniqueness problem. So, get a throwaway email address for those sites and use different passwords.
    – Bob Brown
    Dec 6, 2014 at 19:11

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