Has Your Email Been “Pwned?”

Thousands of websites are hacked each and every day. What does that mean for your data and personal information? Simply put, it’s not safe. Data breaches are constantly being reported, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

The chance that your email account has been compromised is greater than ever. That’s why it’s important to know about the helpful website


Data breaches expose an abundance of sensitive customer information. Hackers have snagged billions of usernames, email addresses, passwords and even credit card numbers this way. Your information could be right there in the hackers’ hands.

Have I Been Pwned is an easy-to-use site with a database of information that hackers and malicious pro- grams have released publicly. It monitors hacker sites and collects new data every five to 10 minutes about the latest hacks and exposures.

Just enter a valid email address that you use on other sites and Have I Been Pwned will check to see if it has been compromised in a data breach. It’s also important to check all of the email addresses used by employees at your dealership.

After you sign up, Have I Been Pwned will alert you if your email address shows up in any list of hacked information. The site also displays the latest hack or account compromise on the front page, so you can take immediate action to protect your compromised accounts.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN HACKED Recovering an email account depends on what method the hacker used to break into your account.

Some hackers use an automated system to take control and use your account to send spam. Fortunately, the program isn’t smart enough to change your account settings to lock you out.

■ To defeat an automated system hack, simply log in to your account and change the password. The next time the spambot tries to log in, it won’t be able to. Problem solved.

There’s also a chance a real person is in control of your account. If they’re smart, they changed your pass- word so you can’t access your account. They also might change your security questions or recovery email address so they can let themselves back in any time, even if you take back your account.

■ To fix this, use the “Forgot your password?” link that’s usually in the site’s login area. If the hacker didn’t change your security question, you can reset your password that way. Or you can have the new password sent to another email account if you set one up previously.

You can’t do anything about a breached email account if you don’t know it’s hacked. Take the first step and enter your email address on Have I Been Pwned today.

Sources:, 20 | The Retailer Magazine | Mar/Apr

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