Email Data Breach: What to Do If Your Email Account Has Been Exposed

Since the rise of remote working people are sending more emails, and with this, email data breaches have also increased. Throughout this article, you will learn about email breaches, and answer the question “have I been pwned?”

Protecting Your Email

An email data breach can happen when there are security issues with an email.

Meaning cybercriminals can gain access to your information through an organisation, website, or other places you have previously inputted your data.

Email security breaches are a constant threat to anyone. No matter how secure your accounts may be, hackers are creating new ways to steal information that can harm you, to benefit them.

So, you’re going to want to protect your mail account the best you can.

By putting a few strategies in place, you can decrease the chances of your accounts being affected and protect your personal and financial information.

Keep reading to learn more about data breaches, and what to do if your email has been exposed.

What are Email Data Breaches?

The most recorded email data breaches happened in 2019, with more than 3,000 breaches that exposed more than 4 billion personal and financial records.

That’s a lot!

Cybercriminals hack into an organisation or website that holds your important information, and they steal it.

Gaining access to your mail address and password means several negative events will follow.

What happens?

Hackers can:

Other signs your account has been hacked

Examples of huge data breaches

Since hackers are constantly finding new ways to hack into accounts, there is no way you can be 100% secure. The only thing you can do is put multiple strategies in place to try to protect yourself the best you can.

How to Decrease Risk of Email Data Breaches

Defending your email can increase the safety of your account, however, it is not guaranteed.

Some ways you can increase your safety and protect your information are:

1. Use two-factor authentication

Make it harder for hackers to log in to your accounts by creating two ways to gain access. This means creating a password and then using a one-time-only code to log in.

A one-time-only code is usually sent to your mobile via SMS. However, there are multiple ways you can create two-factor authentication (learn more about authentication apps).

2. Make your password hard to crack

Always create a password that would be hard to guess. Never use something simple like your pet’s name or information that is easily identified through social media etc.

The features of a strong password are:

  1. Include capital and lowercase letters.
  2. Use numbers.
  3. Use symbols.

3. Use your common sense

We know, this sounds mean. However, just don’t click on any links you aren’t expecting, or any attachments that seem off.

If you receive anything claiming to be your bank, be sure to contact them first. Never give out financial details via email or the phone.

You never know who it could be, especially if it seems a little out of place.

4. Don’t open links!

Most spam will contain harmful links. By clicking on these links hackers may be able to gain access to some information right away.

Some links may direct you to a suspicious website and ask for more information, claiming to be a legitimate organisation.

5. NEVER use the same password for multiple accounts.

Once one password is stolen, the chances are, cybercriminals will also try other accounts you own.

If your password is the same for different emails, this makes it super easy for hackers to steal tons of information.

To keep track of your passwords, you can install a password manager app. This will keep your passwords secure and allow you to easily log in yourself without having to remember!

In addition to the above strategies, it's crucial to understand how to secure data. You can implement data security measures to safeguard your personal and financial information. You can protect your data by using encryption protocols, firewalls, and secure data storage systems. Combining multiple strategies can significantly reduce the risk of email data breaches and protect your sensitive information.

How to Check Your Email for Data Breach With Clean Email

Clean Email has a Privacy Guard tool that allows you to easily see if your account has been involved in a data breach. This handy tool simply notifies you in case you need to take action to protect your accounts.

Privacy Guard feature in Clean EmailPrivacy Guard feature in Clean Email

This feature is FREE to all app’s users, it's like the “Have I Been Pwned” service you can find online.

If the Privacy Guard notifies you have been exposed, you will be prompted to do the following:

You will have to make these changes yourself through your mail service provider. Privacy Guard only checks to see if your personal information has been compromised.

Other features that help keep a clean mailbox are:

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email
Auto Clean feature in Clean Email appAuto Clean feature in Clean Email app
Smart Views feature in Clean EmailSmart Views feature in Clean Email

Clean Email is a reliable service to use since we also take great care with user privacy and security. You can read more here.

What to Do If Your Email Has Been Exposed

If you find your mail address has been exposed you must act upon the following strategies to stop hackers in their tracks, and further protect your accounts for the future.

Hopefully you now fully understand what an email data breach is, how to try to prevent it from happening to you, and what to do if your email is exposed.

Other articles you may find helpful are:

Email Data Breach - FAQs

What is an email data breach?

An email data breach is when cybercriminals hack into an account which leads to access to your personal and financial details.

Did Gmail have a data breach?

Google did have a data breach in 2018 which affected over five million users.

Can you check if your email has been breached?

You can use Clean Email’s Privacy Guard to see if your account has been compromised. You can also find hacked email checkers online.

What do I do if my information has been compromised?

You need to act right away, change passwords, contact mail service providers, and update the credentials of any online bank accounts.

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