Hackable email passwords cause big problems.
Let's keep you safe.

6 February 2019

Lots of you have told us you’re getting more spam emails than usual, and it’s not surprising. In January, details of over 773 million email accounts and 21 million passwords were published by hackers in a massive worldwide data breach called Collection #1.

So, as a busy trades business, what should you be doing to stay safe?

Nobody likes spam emails. But when it comes to online security, they really are the tip of the iceberg. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find stories of email accounts being hacked, invoices being falsified and clients paying hackers instead of the trades grafting on their job. Real people are regularly losing thousands, and trade businesses are suffering. But how does it happen?

Data breaches like Collection #1 can contain millions of email addresses and passwords. When hackers manage to match an email address to a password, they’ll use the combination to see what services they can access. Often they’ll be able to tap into someone’s emails – reading, writing and sending them as if it were their own account.

If the hacked person has used the same password for several different things, the hackers might well be able to access those too, putting their privacy, finances and reputation at risk.

So why am I getting more spam?

If you’re suddenly getting a lot more spam, the chances are that someone in your contacts has had their email account hacked, maybe even a client. What usually happens is that their account then sends spam to everyone it knows – including you.

If that sounds familiar, see it as a wake-up call to tighten up your own online security. Here are a few tips from our tech team:

What should I do if I think my email’s been hacked?

First things first, change your email password immediately.

You can also use the search at haveibeenpwned.com to see whether any of your passwords have been taken from other websites or online services.

If your email account has been hacked, you’ll need to check for any filters and rules that a hacker might have set up to divert emails from your inbox and keep you in the dark. Here’s a really useful article about how to check your account and put things right.

Keeping YourTradebase accounts safe

We work really hard at YourTradebase to keep our services secure. While there are no signs any of our accounts have been hacked, don’t forget that if someone gets hold of your email address and password, they’ll be able to access your account – and all your quotes, invoices and job details.

So, this a friendly reminder to give your online security some thought. Let a password manager take the strain and get long, strong, unique passwords for everything you use. It’s a quick, easy fix that could save you a whole lot of stress and hassle.

By Adam Austin

Co-founder of YourTradebase. One quick, easy app that frees you from paperwork and lets you get back to the job you love. yourtradebase.com

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