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Last updateFri, 29 Jul 2016 8am

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Compromised Email

Many companies experienced high-profile data breaches. Even government agencies weren't exempted. Sony, Epsilon, the state of Texas and several others have failed to protect data on thousands and even millions of customer accounts.

Many companies, government agencies, and citizens are experiencing their email addresses being compromised. Email addresses or usernames to email accounts are in the hands of cyber criminals. When compromised, the hackers can use the email account to mass email to other email recipients, send malicious attachments, alter email content, and more.

How can you tell you have be compromised? Mainly, monitor your emails for malicious activities and contents. You could wait for your account to be hacked and get replies from recipients complaining. This is not recommended. You can also visit Pwned List. "Pwned," is gamer-talk for "owned," as in, "you've been owned." Slang aside, it is a useful site. PwnedList is a tool that allows an average person to check if their email account have been compromised.

Go to pwnedlist.com then enter your email address or a username you use online. The site will search all the email lists that hackers released after the data breaches. It will see if your information appears in those lists.

If your information turns up, then you should probably change the passwords on all your accounts. If it doesn't, that's a very good sign. However, you still shouldn't relax your guard. Not every compromised account made it to the lists. Plus, hackers don't need your information to cause you trouble. Continue to stay on the lookout for malicious email and make sure all your accounts are secure.