Individuals often prefer to have multiple email addresses, such as one for sharing bank-related data and another for regular communications. While it is always encouraged to use different passwords for each account, many people still use the same password, which makes it easier for cybercriminals to launch brute force attacks or try common passwords to hack into the accounts.
There are other ways through which individuals may compromise the privacy of their email accounts, such as a data breach of the portal or website where their email address was added. Criminals on the dark web frequently share information about extracting personal data from websites they have hacked, leaving uncertainty about whether one’s email address has been compromised.
Email addresses sold on the dark web
Hackers put the exfiltrated data, which may have been stolen from government websites, healthcare facilities, school websites, banks, and more, up for sale on the dark web. Scammers purchase the leaked data on the dark web for approximately the price of a cryptocurrency, as depicted in the image above. According to a 2021 Comparitech report, cybercriminals charge around $241 for hacking a user’s email, often accomplished by stealing their password.
How to know if your email address is on the dark web
In order to understand how to remove email from the dark web, it is essential to first know how to identify if it is present there. Accessing the dark web is not readily available on search engines like Google or Bing. Unlike legitimate websites, it requires access through specialized software since the dark web is deindexed.
Hackers may use the email address, stolen login details, and the emails within to perform various other cybercrimes like creating fraudulent certificates in the name of the scammer to avail benefits like insurance claims, health claims, issuing a duplicate sim card, debit card, etc.
Some signs that one’s email address has been compromised include receiving emails from newer sources and companies without a subscription, having read emails that one has not, receiving OTP via email that was not requested, etc. Seeing active login sessions of the email in the settings can help log out of unidentified devices.
How to remove email from dark web
There are several tools online that could be used to check if their email address is on the dark web. These websites allow internet users to check for their email addresses across data breach posts and help make a decision to remove email from dark web. Let’s look into the website that helps remove email from dark web.
(Photo: Have I Been Pawned)
- Have I been pwned – As the name suggests, this website helps find out if one’s data has been compromised. On this website, users may enter their email address on the given field to see if the search result shows that it is on the dark web.
- Am I Breached – The AMIBREACHED website by Cyble, a global threat intelligence SaaS provider, allows entering the email address to see if it is available on the dark web. Moreover, it also allows searching for usernames, among other data.
- Hudson Rock – Hudson Rock, a company specializing in Cybercrime intelligence, provides the ability to verify whether an email address has been compromised.
Once individuals discover and identify their email address on the dark web, it is crucial for them to report it to the cybercrime branch promptly. To remove the email from the dark web, they can submit a complaint through national or local cybercrime reporting websites via the online platform.
Vulnerable accounts may end up on the dark web again, so it is advisable to change the username and password for each account, especially if the email accounts are interconnected. Additionally, users should consider permanently deleting those emails if possible and taking care when importing emails to a new account.
Ina nutshell, maintaining cyber hygiene involves exercising caution and staying informed about the latest cybersecurity news shared in cybersecurity magazines and websites. Therefore, users must regularly read and adhere to password hygiene practices and remain vigilant for suspicious activities on their devices.