41% of Email Addresses Test Positive to Being Compromised [Infographic]

• in categories: news • by: Luke Moulton

BreachAlarm has indexed over 227 million hacked accounts with data stretching back 8 years. This means, on average, we’re indexing around 70,000 hacked email/password combinations per day. This takes into account large breaches such as Adobe’s 150 million and eHarmony’s 34 million records. A more typical day sees us pick up 5k – 10k records.

Looking at a sample of our data, we’re seeing some interested trends:

  • On average, when someone checks their email address with BreachAlarm, there’s a 41% chance they discover their email address and password has been compromised in a data breach.
  • 45% of Gmail accounts, 42% of Hotmail accounts, and 30% of Yahoo email accounts checked on BreachAlarm have been breached.
  • AOL and Comcast have suffered data breaches in the past 12 months, so we’ve seen a high percentage of these accounts breached. 55% of AOL and 58% of Comcast users have had their details compromised.
  • People from Canada top the list as the most compromised, with 62% of tested emails showing up as breached. The Netherlands is next at 52%.
  • Our data shows French email accounts appear to be the least compromised; we’re only seeing 22% of .fr email account being compromised.

That’s not to say that these stats are representative of all email addresses out there. Our data is most likely skewed because people who think or have been told they’ve been involved in a breach will often go in search of more information, find BreachAlarm, and check their email address.

Infographic: Global Email Breach Trends. The following breached email address statistics are based on a 17,000 record sample of email addresses checked on BreachAlarm.com. The sample set was checked against a database of 227 million breach email/password combinations that have been made available publicly through the hacker community and indexed over eight and a half years by BreachAlarm.com. 41%: Percentage of email addresses checked on BreachAlarm that have been leaked with passwords. Percentage of emails breached by top email provider: AOL.com 55%, Gmail.com 45%, Web.de 43%, Hotmail.com 42%, Yahoo.com 30%. Percentage of emails breached by country based on country level domain name: Canada 62%, Netherlands 52%, Germany 44%, UK 39%, Australia 38%, France 22%. .net & .com: 41%. Percentage of worldwide email accounts breached 5.5% (based on a study by Radicati.com that puts worldwide email account volume for 2014 at 4,446 million, and our 227 million unique breached records. Source: http://bit.ly/1oJxpMW). Breached email accounts by source (total of 227,451,521): Adobe 152m (67%), eHarmony 15%, Chinese Software Developer Network 3%, Gmail, Yandex, etc (phishing) 2%, other 13%. Breached data is based on a 17,000 sample size of email addresses checked on BreachAlarm.com against a database of 227 million+ and growing. See www.breachalarm.com for details.
Global Email Breach Trends infographic

The danger for people who have had their email/password combination leaked, is that they’ve used these login credentials on other websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail etc. With this in mind we recommend two strategies for reducing the likelihood of personal identity theft and other online account hacks:

  1. Use a strong and unique password for every website you register with. To help you achieve this, we recommend you use a password manager.
  2. Use two factor authentication where available to log into websites, particularly online email accounts where people tend to store a lot of sensitive information.

Finally, we encourage people to sign up to a free BreachAlarm Email Watchdog account so that we can inform them if their email/password combination appears in a database hack in the future.

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