At some point in time everyone’s e-mail gets hacked, but what’s really at stake when you get compromised?

You wake up one morning and login to your favorite E-mail site.  Only this time you are asked to go through an additional step requiring you to change your password for “security reasons,” due to the possibility of user data being compromised.  You oblige and change your password, or just go through the motions and use the same one over again.

The thought that someone may have been in your email account crosses your mind for a brief moment, but you changed your password so everything is fine, right?  Not really.  Once someone gets your password, you can consider your identity compromised.

Lets look for a moment at how you can be compromised with knowledge of just your email address and password.

  • A hacker can login to your email account and see all of the messages you’ve sent and received.  Some of these messages could contain personal information like your tax returns, pictures you wouldn’t want everyone to see, bills and account numbers, etc.
  • While scrolling through your messages they figure out what bank(s) you use and head over to the site to try your login.  Is your login password the same as your email password?  We’ll try that first.  No?  OK, but we can reset your password because we have access to your email on file.  Now we’re in.  Let’s transfer some money!
  • Next, we see that you have a few credit cards so we’ll employ the same tactic on those sites that we did on your bank.  Success!  We now have access to your credit lines.

These are just a few of the scenarios that could play out when your e-mail gets hacked.  The reality is that you usually won’t know the repercussions until it’s too late.

If you run a business, or would like to keep your e-mails private, you may want to consider a private e-mail server.  Your private server can be hosted in the cloud, or on premises and will allow you to have more control over how your data is handled.

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What’s At Stake When Your E-Mail Gets Hacked?