How to Check if Your Email is Compromised

Every so often we hear about massive data breaches that result in compromised email addresses, but how can you check if you’re affected?

Originally published at millennialmoderator.com


In 2013, 153 million email addresses were compromised by Adobe. In 2014, Black Hat World had three-quarters of a million accounts breached from their system. Later that same year, Reverbnation had over 7 million accounts breached. Every so often, these massive user databases become victims of “hacking” which result in the collection of personal information by unauthorized parties. Most of us have several email addresses and use them in various parts of the internet, so how can you check if you’ve been affected by these breaches?

With the personal information that is gathered from these breaches, unauthorized parties can at best sell your email address to 3rd parties and at worst find ways to access your sensitive information like bank accounts, addresses (physical), phone numbers, and more. While the internet can certainly be a dangerous place, there are also many companies focused on developing more rigorous levels of security and are coming up with new ways to stay protected, such as this app that secures online payments.

So, how can you check if your email address has been compromised in any of the dozens of data breaches?

Haveibeenpwned.com

Haveibeenpwned.com is a cleverly named website that looks through all the data breach records and lets you know if your email showed up on any of them. The website was made by Troy Hunt, who is a regional director at Microsoft and spends most of his life teaching cybersecurity. To use the website, just enter your email address and it will tell you if it has been involved in any of the data breaches.

Now, unfortunately, this website only tracks data breaches that have been publicly disclosed. Many data breaches, however, go completely undetected, so it’s still important to exercise internet safety practices such as using more complex passwords and not entering personal information on fishy websites. I personally had a run in with a cybersecurity issue when my website was the victim of a spambot attack back in 2018- you can read about what happened here.

Haveibeenpwned.com is a great resource for identifying if your email address was used in any of the larger data breaches that have occurred over the years. The website also allows you to sign up to be alerted if your email gets compromised in future data breaches- probably one of the more useful newsletter signups I’ve seen!

If you found this mod helpful, please consider sharing it with your network! Any questions or comments for me? Let me know on Twitter!

Tagged in : TechSecurity


Originally published at millennialmoderator.com.