Email has fast become one of the primary way people communicate. This is especially true in business. Email has become, perhaps, the most useful tool that has been spawned by the Internet. However, it has also become an area that can leave holes into our personal security. Accounts can be compromised and many people have a lot of private information inside of their email boxes. Here are a few tips you can employ to keep your email accounts safe.
Use Different Email Accounts
Many people use one email account for everything. They use it for work and personal communication. They give it to customers, suppliers, vendors, etc. Therefore, if someone breaks into that one account, then they have all of your information accessible.
A better idea is to use different emails for different aspects of your life. You should have different accounts for work and personal life at the very minimum. But, you could also consider a third one that can be used for recreation or all the various websites that you have to sign up for.
Use Strong Password Protection
This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people use simple passwords to protect their important email accounts. I have personally seen people use “Password” as their password. Some, will get creative, however and make it more complex like “Password1”. These passwords are so easy to crack and someone with the right tools could be in your account in seconds.
Therefore it is imperative that you use strong passwords on your accounts. Use multiple words and special characters. And, use a different password on each account. You can use a password management tool like LastPass to keep track of all of these.
Be Wary of Links and Attachments
If you receive emails with links and attachments, you need to tread carefully. Many hackers and viruses will use these as ways to spread their infection.
The first thing you need to look for is that you know the person sending the file. If you do not recognize them then don’t even hesitate to delete the email. But, that isn’t always foolproof. It could be that the person you know is infected with something. If you receive an email with a link or attachment from an acquaintance contact them and see if they intended to send it. If they did not, then delete it.
Watch out for Phishing Attacks
Phishing has become a more common way to steal information from people. It is a scam where people try to use email and social engineering to gain information for people. Many times they will pose as someone from a website like Facebook or a government agency like NSA. These emails should be ignored. This is especially true if they are asking for any personal information like passwords, social security, etc. Most legitimate organizations will not ask for this information through email.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your email account safe and secure. Do not let the usefulness of email be an entry point into your personal life. Use these tips to keep your account safe.