Email communication has become one of the major means of interaction over the Internet today. Millions of people log into their email accounts and exchange personal and business communiqué daily. A person’s email address is also one of the most commonly required personal information in government forms, applications and surveys. It is one of the most important pieces of personal information that people use in a daily basis. Because of this, offenders take advantage of the multitude of daily users by getting into other people’s accounts and committing identity theft.
However, despite being in the news often, a lot of people appear to have insufficient understanding about what email hacking, email spoofing and phishing are; thus, putting themselves in greater risk. The following discussion will provide a detailed description on how email hacking actually happens and how id theft happens through this.
How does email hacking happen?
Email hacking happens when a culprit gets unauthorized access to your accounts, either by getting your account information through key loggers, or through loosely monitored personal information disclosures. Email hacking is not a new story. As a matter of fact, Yahoo reported some 450, 000 usernames and passwords being compromised July of 2012.
Given that people keep hearing about all these scams and email hacking, a lot of them still do not understand how it can really affect them. The greatest risk when talking about this matter is identity theft through email scams. Ron Gula, CEO and CTO of Tenable Network Security notes that theft of email addresses is a relevant step culprits need to do in order to achieve id theft. Gula explains that, “Hackers that steal large numbers of emails and passwords are using the data for many things including identity theft, theft or money through online banking and access to a person’s credit card”.
Once thieves get into your email accounts, a lot of bad things could actually happen. They may pose as you and ask people money by writing like you were in danger. They could access your bank accounts from there and make illegal purchases, and they may also remove all your contacts and negotiate to give them back to your for a price. The Guardian shared a real life account of email hacking, and Rowena Davis’ testimony is an evidence of how aggravating her experience is. Davis retells, “The realization dawns that the email account is the nexus of the modern world. It’s connected to just about every part of our daily life, and if something goes wrong, it spreads. But the biggest effect is psychological. On some level, your identity is being held hostage”.
Davis’ account, much like all the rest of the stolen email cases, strengthens people’s need to understand id theft and identity theft protection better. Emailing is one the basic means of communication over the Internet. More often than not, this is where people exchange more sensitive and confidential information. Putting one’s email address at risk will definitely jeopardize a lot of other personal information such as, bank accounts, money transfer, and credit card information. Email hacking is a gravely serious matter today, and based on these accounts above, it pays to understand how email hacking happens in order to know how to prevent it from happening.