Protecting small firms from computer disasters
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Email Breach Notice Example

You need to take fast action if your email account is breached.

If hackers gain access to your account, they can send out emails, purportedly from you. The emails may contain infected attachments designed to break into the recipients' computers, steal financial account information and take other fraudulent actions.

If your email account is breached, you have an obligation to notify the people in your email address book.

It is important to promptly consult your computer expert, insurance carrier and an attorney who specializes in data breaches for advice.

Notifying your clients as soon as possible is essential. You may also need to send out formal notice via U.S. Mail, but emailing your clients quickly is vital to help protect them.

Here is a sample email with an Email Breach Notice:

Subject:  Do not open suspicious emails from my email address

I value your business and respect the privacy of your information. As a precautionary measure, I am writing to let you know about a data security incident that may affect you.

On or about January 14 and 15, emails were sent from my email account with infected attachments. One of the emails has the subject, "VM from (John Doe) [WIRELESS CALLER]." Merely opening the email is not harmful. But the attachment is presumably malicious. Do not open it.

If you have opened an attachment from such an email, you should immediately take protective steps. Calling a computer expert is recommended.

It is possible that emails in my account were accessed and may have included personal information such as your name, address, phone number, email address and email communications.

I am implementing additional security measures designed to prevent a recurrence of such an attack and to protect your information.

I value your privacy and deeply regret that this incident occurred. I am conducting a thorough review of the affected email account and will notify you if there are any significant developments.