How to Tell if Your Email Account Has Been Pawned

Syed warned that information collected in data breaches can clone someone online.

MANILA, Philippines — Now, internet users can check if their email accounts have been pawned.

During the online training on digital security attended by Yesterday, Syed Haroon of the Digital Defenders Network said the website provides easy access to check whether a user’s email account has been pawned.

Users will simply enter their email accounts and instantly know if their accounts have been pledged.

Being pledged means that someone has taken control of their email address or a user profile has been created with it. This can result in email being hacked to access vital information such as bank accounts, contact numbers and address, which can also lead to identity theft.

Syed warned that information collected in data breaches can clone someone online.

“What happens is that anyone with access to such data can use it and make a copy of your personality into their own information structures, then use it to target you specifically through marketing advertisements, loans or something else,” he said.

“This is how data profiling works, so everything you’ve seen so far and what we end up with is going to help a third party or a random person with their intent, maybe good, maybe bad, but that data basically helps create a copy of you on the Internet that tells them to really target very specific, very important (data),” he added.

To avoid having their emails pawned, Syed advised internet users to use strong passwords, use different passwords in different accounts, change passwords periodically and not reuse passwords.

According to the National Privacy Commission, “Unauthorized processing of personal information shall be punishable by imprisonment of one year to three years and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500 000.00) but not more than two million pesos (P2). 000,000.00) will be imposed on persons who process personal information without the consent of the person concerned, or without being authorized to do so under this Act or any applicable law.

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