You probably already know that cybersecurity is important, but you may not have paid enough attention to it. Unfortunately, negligence in this area can lead to huge problems and your email is one of the most sensitive points.
Breaking your email account will allow an attacker to enter wherever you have used this email to log in. From a simple forum to your bank. So the best thing to do is to keep your email as secure as possible. Here are some simple but important email security tips that we think you should follow.
1. Use separate email accounts
Most users have a central email account for all their personal activity. This means that all social media alerts, site registrations, newsletters, receipts, messages, password resets and more are sent to the same email.
Having everything in one place means that if that place fails, you will lose everything related to it. If someone violates it, they could have access to all the above types of media. And remember that when you reset a password on most sites, the link to verify the reset goes to your email. This could allow someone to lock you out of all your accounts.
To eliminate this possibility, it is a smart idea to use separate email accounts for different purposes. This will help you to strengthen your security by reducing the damage that someone can do by breaking an account. It is even better if you use secure email services for your most important accounts.
In addition, it can also increase your productivity. You could integrate all the messages related to your work into a work email, friends and family email, and create an email for recreational sites and then a draft email for potential junk links to you want a temporary access.
That way, if someone violates your work account, all your personal emails will still be safe.
2. Set a unique, strong password for each email
Whether you are stuck in one email account or using multiple, as we suggest above, it is vital that you protect each of them with a strong password. Reusing the same password on multiple accounts is a major vulnerability. If an attacker breaks a password, they will definitely try it on your other accounts.
Although it may seem simple, many people do not follow these basic tips. The best way to improve your security in this area is to start you are using a password manager. These allow you to create strong and unique passwords for each account that you do not need to remember.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
Along with a strong password, you have probably heard tips on use of two-factor authentication (2FA). We know it's a little awkward to use, but it drastically increases the security of your account. In addition to your password, 2FA requires a subcode (usually from your phone) to log in.
As mentioned above, because your email is the key to any other account, you should at least use 2FA in your email even if you have not enabled it anywhere else.
For best results, we recommend using an authentication application such as Authy. This generates code without the need for an internet connection, which you will need to use to approve new account connections after entering your password.
4. Beware of Fishing Scams
Legitimate companies will not ask for your password or other sensitive information via email. While you may be able to detect obvious attempts to steal your information, fraudsters have improve convincing e-fishing messages.
Usually, phishing emails claim to come from a legitimate entity (such as Amazon, Apple, PayPal or similar) and tell you that something is wrong with your account. You are asked to click on a link that leads to a fake website. If you enter your credentials there to "confirm" the information, you are actually handing over your data to thieves.
You need to know how to track a phishing email to avoid compromising your systems.
5. Never click on links in emails
The constant effort of e-fishing gave us a general rule: in case of doubt, never click on links contained within emails.
Although you can hover over a link to preview the destination URL, this is not always a surefire way to see what is hidden. Most email scams are based on you clicking on a link that will take you to a fake website. So clicking on links is always a risk.
At best, clicking on a link will inform the scammer that your email is active and that you are willing to click on links. In the worst case, it could lead to a website trying to install malware on your computer or stealing your information.
If you receive an email claiming to come from your bank or any other service asking you to log in, always visit the site manually to see what happens. The only exceptions are when you are explicitly waiting for a specific email, such as a forum registration link or a game activation email.
6. Do not open unwanted attachments
Most of the time, you will have to deal with the various attachments in the emails, as with links. If you're expecting something from a friend, then you can probably open the attachment. However, if the email is spam, you do not have to open any attachments.
Even if the file looks innocent, it could be a hidden danger. It is very easy for fraudsters to forge filenames and extensions to make a malicious EXE look like a JPG. Many ransomware are distributed via email attachments, so opening such a file could start the encryption process on your system.
7. Regular scan for virus
If you read an email, open an attachment, or visit a website that looks suspicious in any way, it is not a bad idea to run a malware scan. Of course, your machine will not infect any spam and it may be too much to scan every time you open a malicious message.
But it is better to be safe. Make sure you have a reliable antivirus suite installed. If you have accidentally activated a keylogger, you would rather know before it is activated.
8. Be careful on public networks and computers
You may know that public Wi-Fi is not as secure as your home network. And while you'll probably be fine if you just check your email at the airport or cafeteria with free Wi-Fi, you should be careful when using such networks.
Thanks to widespread use of HTTPS, your activity on most sites will be safe from prying eyes that may be lurking on the web. However, you can not be sure how the free network you are connected to is configured. The network could be a fake point or malware installed to allow it man-in-the-middle attacks.
The same goes for connecting to your email on public computers, such as libraries and hotels. One could install a keylogger on these machines to steal your credentials, so it is best to use reliable devices such as your phone whenever possible.
Secure use of email is essential
While the web has become more secure over time, thanks to the widespread use of HTTPS, stronger encryption protocols and better automated detection by providers, much of your personal security in emails is still in your decisions. Take some time to secure your email accounts and this is the first step to your overall online security.
In short, do not click on anything contained in an email that you did not expect and use the various security options offered by email providers. This will make your account much more secure to use.