Why is email security important?
If someone gains unauthorised access to, or impersonates your email account, they can intercept or gain access to your private communications. With access to your email account, a cybercriminal can commit fraud, blackmail you by stealing your sensitive or financial information, access your online accounts or even send emails pretending to be you.
Email account hacking and impersonation are common delivery methods for cybercriminals to send fake invoices, phishing emails, or malicious attachments. ACCC Scamwatch reported there was over $132 million lost as a result of business email scams in 2019 alone.
Business email compromise (BEC) is a form of email security compromise specifically targeted towards businesses to try and scam them out of money or goods. They also target employees and try and trick them into revealing important business information. Learn about the risks and how to protect yourself and recover from BEC on our Protecting Against Business Email Compromise page.
What to look for
There are some common things you can look for to see if someone else has accessed your email account:
- You cannot access your email as the password is incorrect
- There are strange emails in your sent folder
- You receive unexpected password reset notifications
- You notice sign ins from unusual IP addresses, devices, and/or browsers
In some cases however, you may not realise that your email account has been compromised until one of your contacts flags suspicious emails coming from your account.