How to check whether your email has been compromised

Since its inception in the 20th century, the internet has undergone significant change. The Internet is used by individuals from all areas of life. Internet use ranges from sending e-mail to meeting new people to buying and selling, among other activities. Almost anything is available on the internet, including your personal data. This is where internet security comes into play.

There has been a rise in the frequency of cyber assaults and website breaches by hackers throughout time. If a website you registered on has been hacked, there is a strong likelihood that your personal information is in the possession of hackers who sell the information online (hacker forums and the dark web).

What is a compromised email account?

When someone gains access to your email account without your permission or knowledge, your email account is compromised. If your email account has been hacked, it indicates that someone has discovered your password.

In order to steal a person’s identity for their questionable schemes, hackers attempt to get into their email accounts to acquire access to their private data and financial activities. You must now be asking how to determine if your email account has been hijacked. Before that, let’s examine how hackers may get your personal information.

How your email account might be compromised

There are several methods for hackers to get personal information, but the most common include:

  • Malware assaults
  • Phishing emails and websites
  • Stealing data during cyber assaults

How to determine if your email was compromised

Because you will not get an email from your account provider informing you that your email account has been hacked, it requires additional awareness to discover that your email account has been hijacked. You may not realize that someone is already using your email account until you see odd behavior in your inbox. There are two primary ways to determine if your email has been hacked. The first option involves using reputable websites to determine whether your email has been compromised, while the second is a do-it-yourself approach. Each approach is explored in detail below.

Method 1: Websites to check if your e-mail has been compromised

The websites listed below might help you detect whether your email account has been compromised.

  • Have I been Pwned?

“Have I been pwned?” is the most popular website for determining if your e-mail account has been compromised. Before you ponder what “pwned” can imply, you should know that it is an ancient gaming and internet slang term that was created by misspelling “owned.” To use this website, just enter your e-mail address, and it will search a database of compromised e-mail accounts. The “Have I been pawned?” database has over 350 pages and 7.8 billion compromised email accounts. This website provides additional capabilities to keep you informed if your e-mail account is implicated in future cyberattacks, which is an intriguing aspect. Cool! Isn’t it?

  • Identity Leak Checker

The Identity Leak Checker is an additional useful online tool for determining if your email has been hacked. The Identity Leak Checker was developed by the German-based Hasso-Plattner Institute (HPI), and its most intriguing feature is that it not only scans the internet for compromised e-mails but also for personal identity theft. Simply visit the tool via HPI’s website, enter your email address, and voil√†! This application will scan the internet to detect whether your personal information and password have been compromised or misused online.

  • BreachAlarm

BreachAlarm is an online program that searches the web for stolen passwords that hackers have placed online. BreachAlarm is extremely easy to use; just enter your email address and the application will search the internet and its database of more than 828 million email addresses. Their website has a notification option that may potentially be useful (if your account has not been compromised or against future breaching attacks). BreachAlarm includes a function that allows organizations and business owners to enter their corporate domain and determine which of their workers’ workplace e-mail accounts have been hacked.

  • Firefox Monitor

In September 2018, Mozilla released a feature called Firefox Monitor to assist users in determining whether their email address has been hacked. Their data is obtained from the “Have I Been Pawned?” website via the Firefox monitor. The procedure for checking your email is essentially the same. You enter your email address and use the tool to do a search.

Method 2: D-I-Y Method

This approach consists of many checks to determine if your email account has been hacked.

  • Changed Password for Email

If you are unable to access your email account due to a recent, unauthorized password change, your account has likely been compromised. You may regain access to the e-mail account by using the “forgot password” option and responding to a series of verification questions. If the attempt is successful, you will be required to change your password.

  • Unfamiliar or unexpected email messages

Not all hackers will alter your e-mail password since their methods of operation are diverse. Some of them will not want you to think that your email account has been hijacked. If you discover messages you did not send in your sent folder, password reset e-mails from other websites, or communications from financial institutions or your contacts asking for personal information, it is a clue that someone has compromised your email account.

  • Messages sent by Contacts

If your contacts report receiving strange or odd emails from you, this is a warning sign that your email account has been compromised.

  • Use your E-mail IP log

Using your IP log or login activity to determine whether your email has been hacked is the last step. If you see unusual devices and places in your login history, it’s probable that a hacker has obtained your email login credentials.

Conclusion

Cyber breaches are a hazard to everyone, and internet users must pay greater attention to online security while surfing the web. Do not hesitate to use any of the following ways to determine whether your email account has been hacked. If your email is secure, use the online tools’ alerting functions to safeguard your account against future attacks.

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