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How to know if your email account has been pawned

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

At the online Digital Safety Training attended by yesterday, Digital Defenders Network's Syed Haroon shared that the website  provides easy access to check if the Internet user's email account has been pawned. 

Users will just enter their email accounts and they will instantly know if their accounts were pawned. 

Being pawned means someone has taken control of one's email address or a user profile has been created with it. This can result to hacking one's email to access vital information such as bank accounts, contact numbers and address, which can also lead to identity theft.

Syed warned that information gathered from data breaches can clone someone online. 

"What happens is that anyone who has access to such data can use this and make a copy of your personality in their own information structures and then can use that to specifically target you via marketing ads, loans or something else," he said.  

"So that's how data profiling, so everything that you have seen till now and what we finish is going to help a third party or a random person in his or her intent, maybe good, maybe bad, but these data help essentially create a copy of you on the Internet that tells them to really do targeting very specific and very important (data)," he added. 

To prevent one's email from being pawned, Syed advised Internet users to use strong passwords, use different passwords in different accounts, change passwords periodically and don't reuse passwords. 

According to National Privacy Commission, "The unauthorized processing of personal information shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from 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) shall be imposed on persons who process personal information without the consent of the data subject, or without being authorized under this Act or any existing law."

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