Even though modern-day business communications have adopted an array of channels — be it social media, instant messaging, and the likes — emails always remain a classic.
Don’t believe us? See the value of email in numbers:
- 74% of online users prefer to be contacted by email
- 68% of millennials believe that promotional emails have influenced their purchase decisions
- For every $1 spent on email, the average return is $42, pegging the ROI at 4200%!
In other words, email is not dead. In fact, it’s one of businesses’ most crucial assets.
Also, it’s a repository of customer information, which, when compromised, can erode business trust.
With what’s at stake here, email hacking is a business’s worst nightmare! In this article, learn how you can detect cybercrime under your roof and what you can do about it.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Email Address May Be Hacked
The following signs indicate someone may have hacked your email:
- A series of login attempts with incorrect passwords
- Suspicious password reset requests or mails
- Unfamiliar emails in the sent folder (especially mass emails)
- Customer complaints of having received spam
- Activity from unusual IP addresses, devices, and/or browsers
- Inability to log into the email with the usual password
How to Check if Your Email Address Has Been Hacked
Some businesses are lucky to read the signs and stage an intervention to prevent losing their email. But some cyberattacks are discreet and wreak havoc without leaving a mark.
With this, businesses need to stay alert and vigilant to protect their business.
Use ‘Have I Been Pwned?’
‘Have I Been Pwned?’ is one of the most reliable tools to test your email account’s safety.
Once you enter your email account in the field, the site will populate a list of data breach incidents that may have compromised your details. It can also check if your account details have been published online in the public domain.
Check on Dehashed
‘Dehashed’ is an upgraded version of ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ It also runs a search on your entire online identity in addition to emails.
Simply enter the search terms in the field. It could be your business name, email, website, etc. The tool will trawl the internet to discover all the relevant hits.
Monitor the Hacked Website Database
There are several websites that keep users updated on the latest security breaches.
For instance, sources like ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ and ‘Self Key’ have a comprehensive list of all the websites that have experienced security issues in recent times.
If keeping an eye on all these various sources may seem difficult, you can use a customisable RSS reader and add the feeds of these websites.
What to Do if Your Emails are Hacked
eader image] Witnessing the signs of hacking or seeing your business email pop up on the list of compromised emails is no less than a nightmare.
But setting off in a frenzied panic will not help your case. If anything, it will make things worse. Contain the damage by following a systematic approach.
Change your password
Sometimes, a hacker may have gained access to your email but wouldn’t have changed the password to grant the false assurance your email is safe.
But we’ve already discussed a few signs that may indicate your account has been messed with.
If that’s the case, your first and immediate response should be to change your password.
Apart from changing the password of your hacked account, consider changing other similar or saved passwords you have of your networks.
Set up two-factor authentication (2FA)
Just because you’ve intervened at the right moment and managed to secure your account before you lost access to it doesn’t mean your account is safe.
Once you’ve changed the password, the next line of action is to set up 2FA to prevent any future hacking attempts.
Perform account recovery
In case you lose access to your email ID, contact your email hosting provider and inform them about the security breach. Discuss the account recovery options available.
You can also create a new account in the meantime and request to temporarily suspend your old account to prevent any untoward incidents.
Check account details
You can let out a sigh of relief once you manage to recover your account. But don’t slack off. Account recovery is only the first step.
Start by checking if any account-linked details — such as email recovery information, auto-forwarding, auto-replies, or account credentials — have been changed.
Revert these discrepancies right away and follow them up with a change of password and 2FA.
Inform your customers
Informing your customers about the breach may be the hardest part. But not maintaining transparency would hurt their trust and leave them vulnerable.
As such, the best thing to do is inform them of the incident and share actionable guidelines on how they can secure their accounts.
Perform a thorough clean up
Attackers who got access to your email address could also have tampered with your business website or device.
Run an antivirus scan to test for any malware, spyware, or ransomware, that may have been installed on such terminals.
Get a Secure Email Hosting Provider From the Get-Go
Businesses, no matter the size, should be serious about email protection to protect their assets and their customers’. Right from the start, consider getting a reliable email host that offers stringent security measures to keep cybercrime at bay.
Also, it’s important to follow basic cybersecurity practices like changing your passwords and doing regular security checks from time to time. You can also get an email protection service as a preventive measure. Such an investment would be well worth your time, credibility, and peace of mind!