It’s always good to check and see if your email address has been hacked.
If you’ve received a sextortion email, that’s where an extortionist claims to have damning or embarrassing footage of you, and will only delete it once you hand over bitcoin or other digital currency to an untraceable account, you might want to see if your email or your passwords have been hacked.
It can be quite concerning if you receive a threatening email from an unknown source who claims to have your details and potentially compromising footage of you.
There are a couple of things you should do, first, it might be a good idea to install anti-virus software on your computer. Then you should check to see if any of your email addresses have been compromised. There have been some massive data leaks in recent years, from companies you might not even realise had your data.
For instance Apollo, a sales engagement startup had an enormous data breach in July 2018 where 125 million email and other sensitive data was leaked. Dropbox had a breach in mid-2012 where tens of millions of accounts were leaked. LinkedIn had one in May 2016, Tumblr had one in 2013 and MySpace had one in 2008.
To find out if you’ve been hacked or had your data harvested you should try out Have I Been Pwned. Pwned is another word that means Owned.
It’s a website that keeps track of data breaches and has a database of every email that’s ever been leaked. It also has a handy “Notify Me” feature which will let you know if your data is ever hacked in the future – and it’s free.
Whatever you do, you shouldn’t send money to anyone who claims to have damning footage. It is most likely a spam message and the person really doesn’t have footage of you.
If you are really concerned you should reach out to the police and report it.