Is My Email Leaked?

Is my email leaked? With the hacking of email accounts and leaking of their passwords becoming a constant occurrence, this is one question that people with email accounts constantly ask themselves. A few months ago, over 5 million Gmail accounts were hacked and their passwords released on a public forum. There have also been similar cases with other email carriers such as yahoo. Leaked email account password is a great cause of concern, especially if you have linked it with other accounts. Fortunately, there are several tools you can use to find out if your email password has been leaked.

Importance of finding out if your password has been leaked

Leaked email account passwords can cause a lot of damage if you fail to contain the situation. Most people use the same username and password combination for several accounts to make it easier to remember the login information. A leaked email password can therefore be used to access other accounts you own.

On top of gaining access to accounts with the same username and password combination, hackers can do a lot damage once they gain access to your email account. Personal information found on your email account can be used in identity theft and other forms of fraud. Hackers also use email addresses they have hacked to send spam mails, which can be very embarrassing for you. In addition, hackers can attempt can use your email account to request passwords for other accounts that are linked to it.

Finding out if your email account password has been leaked gives you enough time to recover your account, control the damage and prevent any future security breaches from occurring.

Is my email leaked? Finding out if your email password has been leaked

If you are unsure whether your email account password has been leaked, there are several ways of finding out. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to proceed:

1) First of all, go into your account and check if there is any suspicious activity. If there is any suspicious activity, such as sent emails from your account without your knowledge, then there is chance that someone has hacked into your account.

2) Use a leaked email password tool to find out if your password has been leaked to the public forum. These are usually websites that hold a database of email addresses whose password has been leaked. Some of the websites you can use include PwnedList and inleaked.com. For extra security of your email account, use a SHA-512 has generator to keep your email address private.

3) If your email address appears on the list, simply change your email account password and the password of any other account with similar username and password.

How to protect yourself against future leaks

In case you are a victim of email password leak, it is important that you protect yourself from future leaks. One of the best ways of doing this is by using strong passwords – your password should be at least 8 characters long and should be comprised of numbers, letters (both lower and upper case) and special characters. You should also avoid using the same username and password combination on different accounts.

Conclusion

Email address play a vital role when it comes to online security, and having your password leaked on public forums can have dire consequences. With the above tips, you can be able to find if your password has been leaked and take the necessary measures, ensuring you no longer have to ask yourself “is my email leaked?”

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What to do if your Email is Hacked?

Despite the increasing popularity of texting, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, most people still rely heavily on email to do business or to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. A hacked email account can therefore be quite distressing – from being locked out of your account to everyone on your contact list receiving spammed emails from your account. The good news is that it is possible to take back control of your account and prevent a future incident.

The following is a guide on what to do if your email is hacked

Reclaim your account

When your email is hacked, reclaiming it should be your first priority. Hackers mostly breach email accounts to steal personal information and use it to send spam mails to people on your contact list. If this is the case, you should have no problem logging into your account. However, you might be unlucky and find that you no longer have access to your email. In this situation, simply use the “forgot password” section to recover your account.

Scan your computer for malware

After recapturing your account, the next step should be to scan your computer for any malware. Some hackers use malwares to hack into people’s account, and thus any other steps taken will be futile if the malware that was used to hack your account is still in your computer. When scanning your computer, it advisable to use a commercial antivirus program instead of a free or trial version.

Change your password

Changing your password is the most important step on what to do if your email is hacked. When changing your password, you should choose a strong password that is easy to remember and very hard for anyone else to guess. This means no use of birthdays, favorite movies, songs, artists, celebrities, band names and destinations, maiden names, parents’ or kids’ names or any other information that someone else can guess.

Instead, you should choose an alphanumerical password (a password made up of letters, numbers and characters). Your password should also be made up of both upper and lower cases to make it more secure. In case you find it hard to remember the selected password, you can always make use of password manager applications.

Reset your email settings

Some hackers can change your email settings to receive a copy of any new email you receive in your account. Go to your email account’s setting and reset all the settings. You should especially check on the mail forwarding section to ensure there are no strange forwarding addresses.

Inform people on your contact list about the breach

After taking back the control of your email, the next important step should be damage control. More often than not, hackers will use your emails to send spam mails to people on your contact list. Send a message to everyone on your contact list informing them of the security breach and advising them not to open any emails or click on links inside emails that they received from around the time your email was hacked. While most people will have already figured this out, there are a few individuals who might be tempted to fall into the hacker’s trap.

Monitor other accounts linked to your email

It is also important to assess and monitor any further damage caused by the breach. Most emails are linked to several other accounts, from social media accounts, online shopping accounts such as Amazon, online payment gateways such as PayPal and even other email accounts. Check every single account linked with your email account to ensure that it has not been compromised. You should also change the accounts’ passwords as a precaution.

Take preventive measures

The last and most important step to take after your email has been hacked is to take preventive measures. On top of changing your password, you should consider other measures such as:

Enabling two-factor authentication – this involves the use of a 2-step authentication that includes your login information and a code that is randomly generated and sent to your phone every time you attempt to log in. Without this code, the hacker cannot gain access to your account even with the username and password.

Regularly changing your account password – you should consider changing your password after a couple of weeks or months, depending on how security conscious you are.

Avoid using unsecured networks when checking your emails – public networks such as those found in hotels, airplanes, coffee shops and other public places are unsecured and they can be used to steal personal information that can in turn be used in hacking your account.

Securing your home network – securing your home network is another way of preventing hack attacks on your accounts. Most network routers come with WPA and WPA-2 security protocols, which use Advanced Encryption System. This helps to ensure that no hacker can gain access to your personal information through your network

Conclusion

Even with the best effort, there is no foolproof way of eliminating hack attacks. However, you can be able to reclaim control of your account and prevent future attacks from happening. The above are some of the most important tips on what to do if your email is hacked.

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