A LYME Regis IT support company has provided a free tool for local businesses to see if their email addresses have been stolen.
IT Addicts owner Mark Howarth set up the free check at www.itaddicts.co.uk/email/ after realising thousands of local businesses had no idea they were at risk.
“We subscribe to clever services that let us see if an email address has ever been compromised,” Mark explained.
“Email addresses are typically stolen when big websites or databases are hacked. Subscriber data is taken. It happens all the time, but very few people ever know about.”
“The big problem is when hackers steal email addresses and passwords.”
Mark revealed that it only takes your email address and one password to be stolen, and you can be at significant risk.
That’s because many people re-use passwords across different systems. Cyber criminals are also clever enough to test for variations of passwords using automated tools.
Mark added: “Hackers only need to get lucky once. Because if they’re inside one system – especially if it’s your email – they can access other systems.
“Knowing that your email address has been stolen is the first step towards protecting yourself and your business.
“Then you can put new security measures in place. Such as generating random passwords; using a password manager, and multi authentication.
“This is typically where you generate a login code from your phone. It’s a minor pain, but adds a massive extra level of protection.”
Any business owner or manager is welcome to use the free email checking tool at www.itaddicts.co.uk/email/
IT Addicts was formed in 1995, and now looks after many local businesses in the West Dorset area.