For some time now we have heard story after story of security breaches. You more than likely have confidential information on your email account, whether it be your personal or your professional email account. You do not want hackers, or anyone for that matter, having access to your accounts. Every day hackers are coming up with new and advanced ways to hack your email account, so taking the steps to protect your account has never been more critical. As email evolves, it is important to remember the basics behind email security, below is a list of some basic email practices to help ensure your email accounts remain safe.
- Have a complicated email address. You do not need to create an email address so complicated that you may forget it, but do not create it as simple as your name either.
- Don’t be deceived into giving away your password. If your email provider has emailed you asking for your account password, do not give it to them, this is a scam. Also, they may send you a link to click to reset your password, often this may be fraud as well.
- Secure password. The intent of a password is to keep others out, remember this when you are setting your password. Remember that using “password” as your password really defeats the purpose of even having a password. When choosing a password try to use a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers, that do not form any sort of word or phrase.
- Change password frequently. Using the same password on your email account over a long period of time increases hackers chances of guessing the correct password. You should change your password often, as often as every 90 days.
- Set up an email filtering service. Filtering out spam will greatly reduce your chances of being hacked or accidently giving away information. If you are not receiving the emails and links to give away your password, your chances will greatly reduce of accidently doing so.
- Try not to publicize your email address. Yes, every time you send out an email it includes your email address, but try to leave it on as little websites as possible. Spammers scan pages all of the time looking for new victims.
- Set up a strong security question. It can happen to anyone, forgetting a password that you set up. Setting up a strong security question is critical to email security in case spammers try to guess at the password and reset it. Be sure that your answer does not change, you will always remember it, and that hackers cannot find the answer to the question online (For instance, what year you graduated college).