One look at the news will tell you that data breaches happen all of the time, and with the way data is shared, it’s not hard to see how your vulnerabilities can be easily exposed.
Now, however, there is way to check if your email was part of a data breach. And it’s free.
As Tony Wittock of Cyber Security Consulting Ops explains, simply go to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and type in your email address. If your email was included in a data breach, it will say “Oh no — pwned!” You can then check to see which breach your email address was included in.
Obviously, keeping track of every data breach at every company is beyond most business operators’ ability. Wittock says to look for the telltale signs that you were part of a breach.
“Email address owners who were included in data breaches are likely to start receiving phishing emails with malicious payloads,” he says. “Left undetected, malwares can cause major problems, including emptying your bank account.”
At the very least, this will give you the opportunity to change your password and check your network security.
Additionally, Wittock said be sure to change any accounts where you used the same logins and passwords, something he says you should never do in the first place.
He also said never open any attachments unless it came from people who told you they will be sending you attachments because these can carry ransomware or other viruses. If your email has been compromised, you will start receiving phishing emails that may seem to come from people you know.
“Cybercriminals can fool you by scanning your social media accounts and spoofing family, friends, co-workers and so on,” Wittock said.
Finally, he said to make sure to get software to protect your email and training for employees to help identify more sophisticated attacks.