E-mail Breaches: How to Detect and Prevent
Table of Contents
- By David Lukic
- Apr 13, 2022
Breach of your e-mail account may not sound all that critical, but it can devastate your digital life. If someone gains control of your e-mail account, they could gather other sensitive information for fraud or identity theft.
What is an E-mail Breach?
An e-mail breach is an incident where the security of an e-mail or associated accounts was compromised. It could include accessing the information without authorization or knowledge of the account owner. E-mail breaches hurt regular people by leaking and exposing e-mail data, including their personal records and identity details but can also result in financial loss from identity theft and other scams through unauthorized activity. Protect yourself with knowledge of what happened and what was breached by running one of our free e-mail breach scans.
How to Tell if Your E-mail Account is Compromised?
Hackers breach e-mail accounts undetected, so you must know what to look for to find out if your e-mail account has been hacked. Signs of a compromised e-mail address include:
● You try to log in, and your password has been changed.
● You receive a lot of unexpected e-mails.
● Your “sent” box shows e-mails that you never sent.
● Your friends complain of receiving spam from you.
● Your server logs show logins from a different IP than yours.
● Your stolen data shows up online in a public forum.
Types of Email Data Breaches
There are various types of e-mail data breaches. They include:
Hacked E-mail Accounts
E-mail breaches can result in data theft, and cybercriminals could take advantage of you if your personal records and personal details are available online. Some of the information in your e-mail account that can become breached and exposed includes phone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card details, usernames, user IDs, social media profiles, dating profiles, web accounts, relatives and friends, date of birth, and other critical personal data.
Personal Information Theft
E-mail breaches can include personal information theft, including customer accounts or customer data. Personal details may become exposed to anyone who tries to look them up. Those online records could include various account information, shopping details and records, payment information, private e-mails and data, and other types of records. Therefore, it is imperative to keep an eye on the kinds of records available on the internet about you to prevent exposure and mitigate the likelihood of identity theft.
Fraudulent websites are responsible for many e-mail data breaches. Compromised software might steal your data when you submit forms or provide your contact information online. When any public record is posted online, there is always a chance it can be tracked by identity thieves and used to steal your identity. Some of the contact information that can be purposefully or accidentally leaked could include your full phone number, e-mail address, your physical address and location, including past locations, your online usernames and user IDs, your social media and web profiles and accounts, including dating and others, your employment history, education, relatives, and more.
Digital Identity Threats
Data breaches from security threats are one of the fastest-growing problems on the internet. Many fraudulent websites and services pose as the real thing to try to steal or “phish” your personally identifiable information for financial identity theft. Any time you submit a form, your personal information could be intercepted if you are not careful, especially when using a service or website you are unfamiliar with. Some of the stolen details could include your name, address, contact information, and any other account details that you have provided.
E-mail Account Takeover
An e-mail breach may result in unauthorized account access as part of an online scam or identity thief’s activities. Identity thieves steal your personal information from online accounts by performing an account breach. An account breach is where they hack the system and breach the secure databases to collect your personal details. Some of the types of breached account information may include an exposed personal profile with your full name, address, and contact information, as well as your phone and e-mail records, account registration records, and any personal information that you had provided before the breach occurred.
Leaked or Stolen E-mails
A common type of e-mail breach is a data leak. E-mail leaks can occur accidentally or on purpose, but the result is that some or all your personal data is exposed online. It is essential to ensure that the information and public records that appear under your name online are accurate and contain no errors. If the information or records are inaccurate, have errors, or are incomplete, your identity may be at risk. Often, the errors will propagate throughout the internet, and you will end up with wrong information being attributed to your identity profile. To make sure this does not happen, we strongly recommend that you check your public records for any inaccuracies or errors.
Exposed Personal Details
E-mail breaches may result in data exposure. Data exposure is an exposure of the type of information that identity thieves target. This includes the most important personally identifiable information about you, such as your DOB, your SSN, your phone numbers and e-mail addresses, your family members and associates, employment information, and history. It may also include education records, social and web profiles and accounts, online usernames, private user IDs and private images, videos, posts, chats, and other information.
Private Data Security
Exposed or posted personal and public records may include information about you, such as arrests and criminal records, court records including bankruptcies, liens, judgments, marriage and divorce records, and other vital information. In addition, exposed records may include professional licenses, businesses, assets, driving records, including driving citations, car information, home information, and many other types of public records that exist online on many government and commercial websites, accounts, and services.
What to Do if Your E-mail Account is Compromised?
First, contact your ISP or e-mail provider and change your login credentials. Use a very strong password and turn on two-factor authentication. Also, change your security questions. Warn everyone you know that your account was hacked and not to respond to anything that was sent to them from your address. Keep a close eye on all your other accounts that may be breached due to the e-mail hack. Finally, protect yourself going forward by using identity theft monitoring and cybersecurity best practices.
How to Prevent an E-mail Breach?
Some ways to prevent an e-mail security breach are:
ID Monitoring & Protection
No service can help protect against all types of security threats, including data breaches and identity theft. However, you can sign up with our identity monitoring and protection service. We will monitor your personal, private, and public records and alert you if any new records are posted or if we detect any changes to your existing public records. This will help you keep an eye on what type of public records are available about you on the internet, and you will be able to monitor that information with our service. It is crucial that you monitor your personal and public records because it may prevent you from becoming an identity theft victim.
Keep an Eye on Your Accounts & Check What is Exposed
To help protect from the effects of an e-mail data breach, we recommend that you verify your identity profile for accurate information. It is up to you to make sure that publicly available information about you is correct, complete, and current. Keeping an eye on that information is part of our identity theft protection. Controlling what is available about you on the internet and being aware of the personal details available to identity thieves allows you to secure your data and take action quickly in the event of a data breach.
Run one of our free scans to check and verify your public identity and your public records. We will instantly let you know what type and how many of your public records are available online and potentially exposed for others to see. We look for combinations of your personally identifiable information and details such as your name, address, DOB, and other data to show you how much of your profile is currently exposed.
To avoid being negatively affected by a data breach, make sure you are using the internet safely by only providing your personal information to accredited businesses and services that are verifiable and trustworthy. Doing so can help prevent identity theft. Always use safe, secure websites, and be sure you are familiar with their services. Never provide your social security number or date of birth online to keep them out of the hands of identity thieves. Invest in a good password manager to keep all your passwords safe. Educate yourself on phishing and never click links in emails from untrusted sources. They could lead to malware or identity theft, allowing cybercriminals to gain access to your other accounts.
Password Protection: Adopting Two-Factor Authentication
Protect your e-mail accounts from cyberattacks, breaches, or leaks from hacked web accounts. Use strong passwords to secure your online accounts and help avoid identity theft. Always use unique passwords on each email account, never reuse them. You can run one of our free scans to instantly verify if any of your personal information had been breached, leaked, or exposed and what is available for other people to view, including identity thieves. Enroll in our identity theft monitoring and protection service to keep an eye on your personal and public records and keep your identity safe.
Personal Information and Other Sensitive Data — What Could be at Risk?
By accessing your e-mail, an identity thief could access your phone numbers, e-mail addresses, usernames, user IDs, social media profiles, dating profiles, web accounts, relatives and friends, date of birth, and other important personal data.
Do all you can to avoid having to deal with stolen e-mail addresses. Get completely secure by tightening your online safety practices. Use strong passwords, keep a close eye on things, and use identity theft monitoring to protect all your personal information.
Frequently Asked Questions About E-mail Breaches
Can breached information contain personal details?
Yes, many types of data breaches result in the exposure of customers’ personal data and details. It could include personally identifiable information and details about you, including name, address, locations, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, e-mail addresses, usernames, social profiles, relatives and associates, employment, education, date of birth, and many other types of personal data.
What types of my records can be breached?
There are many types of personal, private, and public records that can become exposed, such as your business and professional licenses, vital records such as birth, marriage, and divorce records, liens and judgments, bankruptcies, asset information, driving records, and driving violations, arrests and police records, court records, criminal records, civil records, and many other types of data.
Are e-mail breaches part of identity theft?
Your personal identity profile can become exposed or stolen as part of a data breach. An exposed personal profile can be part of exposed or stolen records associated with you and your particular identity profile. Your personal profile contains a lot of personally identifiable information about you, such as your DOB, education, employment, relatives, associates, social media profiles, web profiles, online accounts, images, videos, usernames, user IDs, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.
Is e-mail breach monitoring included with identity theft protection?
Yes. E-mail breach monitoring is included with our identity theft protection service. We will monitor your personal information, including all available public records, to alert you of any additions or changes to your public records profile or detect that your information was reported as part of a data breach.
What is personal data exposure?
Data exposure is an event where your personal information or details are publicly posted online for anyone to look up or when the information is accidentally or deliberately leaked and shows up on scam sites, underground sources, and other online venues. To see if any public records are exposed about you, run one of our free scans, and check out the report summary.
How can my e-mail become breached?
Your personal and public records can become breached or exposed on the dark web by being involved in a data breach in the past or by simply being posted online and available for anyone to view. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you run one of our free scans to verify how much information about you is exposed and to check the accuracy and content of the public records associated with you.