Today, email is one of the most commonly used forms of communication. It’s quick, easy and convenient, but it is also vulnerable to attacks from hackers. Here are some practical tips that can help you secure your email account and keep your information safe.
Use Strong Passwords
Many email users fail to understand the importance of using strong passwords. A large number of people still use weak passwords, such as “123456,” “qwerty,” or even just “password.” What’s worse, they often reuse these same passwords for multiple accounts—this makes all the accounts vulnerable. To keep all password-protected accounts secure, utilize strong passphrases that are unique to each account.
Enabling multifactor authentication (MFA) for your email account is a good security practice. With MFA, you must provide both your username and password as well as a valid fingerprint scan or answer to a security question when logging in. This makes it more challenging for malicious actors to access your account.
Email encryption is a process that transforms readable text into unreadable code. This code can be read only by someone who has the corresponding decryption key, keeping your email safe from unauthorized access.
Email encryption is available with most popular email services, including Gmail and Outlook. The method of encryption varies from service to service but all of them follow a similar approach. Here’s how it works:
Email encryption involves two phases — first, the sender uses an encrypted email address to send their message to the recipient, and second, the recipient receives the message and decrypts it using their own private key.
Don’t Ignore Security Updates
Cybercriminals know that email is the most frequently used business communication channel. They also know that most people don’t think about protecting their email accounts until they experience a cyberattack.
If you are one of those people, it’s time to change your ways! Your email account is not as secure as you think it is.
The truth is that cybercriminals can target your email account and steal sensitive data or install malware on your device, even if you have a strong password and enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
The good news is that there are several ways to protect your email account from cybercriminals, including:
Always install the most recent updates for your antivirus, firewalls, and email security software. Doing so can protect you from cyberattacks, as it enables these cybersecurity solutions to detect and filter out even the newest email-based cyberthreats. Installing these updates also fixes software vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
Enable 2FA authentication for all accounts that support it. This extra layer of security provides an additional way to verify that someone trying to access your account is really you.
Don’t click on suspicious links and email attachments
Email accounts are one of the most common target for attackers. There are many ways to secure your email account, but the most important thing to keep in mind is: do not click on suspicious links and email attachments.
Here are some tips to help you keep your account safe:
Do not open unfamiliar emails or attachments from people you don’t know. You may receive a phishing email from someone claiming to be an organization (e.g., PayPal, eBay) asking for your login details or a password reset link. Delete these emails immediately.
If you receive an email from someone claiming to be PayPal, eBay or any other organization asking for your login details or password reset link, do not click on any links or attachments sent with the message and delete it immediately.
Do not open any attachments unless you know exactly what they contain and where they came from. Attackers can send malicious files that look like legitimate files but they actually install malware on your computer when clicked on by users – this can allow them access to everything on your device including personal data stored in your email account (such as messages sent and received).
Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing is an online scam in which criminals pose as legitimate businesses or individuals to obtain personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Phishing scams can use different communication platforms, but they often involve fake emails that contain links to spoofed websites. When unsuspecting users input their personal information into these fake sites, criminals can use that information to commit identity theft or fraud.
Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common, so it’s important to be aware of how they work. Take note that reputable companies would never ask for such sensitive data via email. If you believe that the email you received might be from a phishing attempt, contact the company directly using the contact details on their official website. Don’t use the contact details in the dubious email as these might be fake too.
Regularly Monitor Account Activity
Monitor for any suspicious behavior, which involves checking your logs for things like unusual devices or IP addresses that have accessed your account. Such activity could indicate a security breach. If you think your account was hacked, sign out of all web sessions and immediately change your password.
Use different email accounts
Don’t use one email account for everything. Otherwise, if someone gains access to that account, they could also easily steal any stored information or connected online accounts associated with that email. This could lead to hackers using your account for fraud and other illegal activities.
That’s why you should create separate email accounts, such as a personal account dedicated to communicating with your friends and family, and a professional account for work-related tasks only. You can also create another email account for miscellaneous things, such as online shops, gaming sites, newsletter subscriptions, and the like.
As we become increasingly reliant on technology, the importance of email security grows even more. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you must take steps to secure your email account.
If you have any other cybersecurity concerns, contact us now and our IT experts will be glad to help you: https://rj2t.com/contact/