Announcement

Has your email been hacked? Online checker here for pwned addresses

Has your email been hacked
Courtesy NordVPN

Hackers released more than three billion emails and passwords last week. Called COMB (Compilation of Many Breaches) its time to check – Has your email been hacked?

From the moment COMB was released with and sorting and extraction tools, the internet has been flooded with hack attempts. My personal email was on the list. Has your email been hacked?

Such is the volume of attacks that mail servers world-wide have slowed to a crawl.

I had thousands of automated attempts last week to get at my email coming from all places in Ecuador and China, North Korea, and Russia. And spam went through the roof – 1009 spear-phishing emails last week.

Has your email been hacked
Automated hacker bots roam the internet looking for successful logins. Saldy, the success rate is very high due to unchanged passwords

Has your email been hacked?

There is a pretty good chance that it has – after all, it is numerically nearly half the world’s population.

Cynernews has an online checker here with details over 15 billion breached accounts and 2.5 billion unique email addresses. It is busy adding including the new data.

Hopefully, you have changed passwords this year – it is good New Year’s resolution idea to change every password at least annually. Fed up with trying to remember passwords, I use the free Lastpass password manager.  Yes, if the product is free, the product is you, but the free version is enough for what I need. Yes, I would gladly pay if asked to.


GadgetGuy’s take – your digital ID opens more doors

When the internet was new (circa the mid-90s) everyone rushed to get an email address and create online presences. Ergo, the longer you have had the email address, the more likely it is on the list.

The sad fact is that somewhere between 30-40% of people have never changed all their passwords (based on a US study). The good news is that now around 30% change yearly, 10% monthly and 10% weekly. The latter categories have suffered cyber-attacks.

But here is the kicker – password reuse. 60% (average across all age groups) used the same password on multiple accounts, especially if they thought they were low risk.

Has your email been hacked? This is what can you do?

  1. Use the online checker for every email account you have
  2. If one has been hacked either close it down or make sure you change passwords regularly
  3. Never reuse the same password even if you think it a safe account. For example, insecure IoT like security cameras can give home Wi-Fi network access.
  4. Use a password manager like LastPass
  5. Make sure it is a strong password with a mix of UPPER case, lower case, symbols and numbers.
  6. Start using 2FA (two-factor authentication) on important accounts. It calls, emails or SMS’s you if your account is accessed
  7. Use a VPN (not a free one as they are largely insecure)
  8. Be ultra-careful of using names, places, pet, family or children’s names as automated bot scrape this from social media and use it for brute force passwords attacks.
  9. Use paid security software
  10. Use Wi-Fi protection and intrusion devices