Category Archives: Email Security

What to Consider in Choosing the Right Email Provider

Choosing the right email provider would really just boil down to one’s personal preferences. Here are some of the factors you ought to consider when choosing the right ESP or email service provider. By determining what you need, you can decide which ESP to choose.

choosing the right email provider Purpose – Are you using it for work or personal purposes? Ask yourself what your email inbox would expect. You should also consider Messenger use if you decide to sign up for an email. Having an email and the same Messenger can help you out.

Contacts – Do you know which ESP your contacts use? Especially true for work emails, you may want to have the same ESP as your contacts for better communication. There would be fewer risks of not getting messages across.

Style – Do you want your inbox to look clean or are you fine with seeing ads every once in a while? Some ESPs have advertisements and whatnots when you log in.

Qualities of Different Email Providers

It’s evident that there are big names when it comes to emails. But how do you know which one is the right one for you? When you have considered the factors above, you can compare it with these ESP qualities to help you decide better:

Gmail – Gmail is run by Google. It is a clean and minimalist email inbox. It would be great for corporate use as you can easily see the threads of messages when you open your mail. Think of it as a clutter-free solution to your email needs. You can also use the same email for all other Google applications.

Yahoo – Yahoo Mail has ads on the side of the page, but it is basically a good email if you want to be able to use Messenger. You can also use this email address to register for different online pages. Since it is not based on JavaScript, Yahoo Mail also tends to run faster on most computers.

Hotmail – Hotmail allows you to use the Windows Live Messenger, but it is quite harder to get around inside the inbox, especially if you aren’t computer savvy. It takes a little getting used to, and you may be disheartened if you need more storage space since it only has 2MB storage for you.

These are the three top names when it comes to finding an email provider, but it doesn’t mean you can’t try finding other options. Other options you may want to check out include Mail.com and Lycos. Remember that if you are trying an email service, it would take some time before you get used to the new user interface, but you shouldn’t let it get to you.

We also advise for you to take into consideration the customer support they offer just in case you’re using your email for more advanced purposes, especially for work. Determine what you like from an ESP and consider these options. When you sign up, take their tour or tutorial and it will surely help you use your new email better!

What is your preferred ESP? How does the email service help you in your daily life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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How to Protect Work Email

protect work emailDespite the burgeoning popularity of instant messaging platforms like Skype, Viber, and Facetime it is a fact that offices still rely on email for communication. It might seem archaic to you but there is very good reason for it and that is because they want to keep a trail of all the conversations and interactions. However useful email may be, it also poses some dangers. Email communication can spread viruses by way of attachments, and messages can harbor phishing links that lead to fake websites so nefarious elements can get your login details.

Tech giants Facebook and Google are working to establish a new standard called DMARC that aims to reduce these threats once and for all. While waiting for that though, you need effective ways to help secure your work email and below are some suggestions you are sure to find handy!

Use a strong password – Your password is perhaps the first and most important line of defense you can set in place for your email. Granted, most email clients require one but there are many ways to bypass this. For instance, if you use outlook on a laptop and there is no log in screen, that leaves all your downloaded emails exposed even if you did use a password to download your email. Also, think of the email app on your phone; if your mobile doesn’t have a PIN, then your email app in there is in danger as well. When creating a password, try to make it more complex, and don’t use your birthday or your anniversary date! Use a mix of letters and special characters to better protect work email, and even personal email.

Use HTTPS – If you are to use a web-email system then make sure that you use a secure HTTPS method. What this does is it encrypts your data as it makes its way over the Internet. The HTTPS methods also makes it that much harder for hackers to intercept your data so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Some email system like Google or Hotmail offer you the option to use HTTPS when you access your mail but if you do not see it automatically, then check for the “HTTPS” at the very beginning of the address on your browser. If you are using a newer browser model, then look for the green padlock icon as a sign that the website is safe, so you can protect work email effectively.

Avoid unknown attachments – Be careful with those attachments that arrive with your emails as they may contain malware and viruses. Only open email attachments if you know you are expecting them from familiar people. If you doubt the authenticity of the attachment, send an email to the sender and verify if he did intended to send you an email. If your email client suggests you go for a virus scan then by all means go for it and save yourself from a lot of trouble in the future. You may also want to use Dropbox or other cloud storage services to share files since they are safer.

Have you ever had trouble with your work email? What happened and what did you do to rectify the situation? Share your thoughts below!

What are the Best Email Security Tips?

email security tips, The development of the internet has paved way to significant changes that users take advantage of. However, these developments come with its share of disadvantages; there are, after all, a lot of shady characters out there who wants to take advantage of unsuspecting users. This has made users become more cautious especially when handling their email accounts. There are instances when important emails are opened because passwords become accessible to hackers.

As one of the most effective email security tips, the changing of passwords should be practiced more often. Companies and other legitimate organizations require frequent password change to safely secure important emails, and the documents attached to them. The habit of changing passwords is considered not only effective, but the best security practice.

Make it a habit to change passwords. Changing passwords once a month limits the instances of stolen passwords. It cuts the unwanted user’s accessibility of the email account. The ideal interval for changing the password is between one to 3 months. There is even a default of 42 days for password changing in Windows Server. This habit should be done by all people who have email accounts and other online personal accounts because you will never know when bad elements strike. Hackers have the tendency to attack anyone, anytime. Further, stealing of identity is rampant nowadays, so it is best to play it safe always.

Do not go for the obvious. If you are going to change your password, make sure that you come up with a unique combination of at least 8 characters – numbers, lower-case letters, upper-case letters, and special characters. The longer your password is, the harder it is for anyone to pin it down. Avoid using the names of people who are close to you. It’s too obvious to find out. Even birthdays, social security digits, and words with two same letters are not recommended to use. You don’t want your password to be easily remembered, do you?

Hide it away. After changing your password, secretly write the new code on a sheet of paper, and then hide it in a place where you’re the only one who knows it. It may be a bit difficult to remember the new password at first, but try using it immediately for a number of times until you can remember.

Do not tick the remember password box if using a shared or public computer. Doing this in a public place will give other users access to your email account. Also, make sure that you have properly signed out of your email account and cleared your browsing history before leaving your computer!

Don’t give your password to anyone, even if you trust that person. Keep the password to yourself. If there are cases when you need someone to open your email for you, make sure to change the password after.

With these email security tips, It is better to be safe than sorry. Currently, many users have become victims of hacking because their passwords were accessed. Nothing beats being prepared, so do the frequent changing of passwords. How about you? How many times do you change your password? Do you have other ways to keep passwords safe? Share those tips away!

How to Be Secure with an Alternate Email Address

alternate email addressYour email allows you to register for profiles, gain access to an online inbox, get in touch with people from all over the world, and have a reliable online mode of communication. However, there are some people who wish to do you harm for personal gain and targeting your email security is one of their tactics. Because of this, you must be prepared for consequences which may affect your online use. One of the ways to do so is to have an alternate email address.

What is an Alternate Email Address?

An alternate email is another active email account which email providers ask you for in case you lose track of your current email address’s password. Upon registration, you will be asked to provide an alternative email address to which your password and other log-in details will be sent in case you forget or have troubles signing in to your new email account.

Qualities of a Good Alternate Email Address

Your alternate email may be something you use actively for other purposes, or something you created for the sole purpose of being an alternate email. The qualities it must have are:

A strong password – Your password for this alternate email should be strong and hard to figure out in case it is used for verifying a person’s identity when trying to access your other email account.

Active – Although something which is attributed to you and not the email itself, the alternate email must be active. You should regularly check it and comply with whatever security measures the email provider asks you to do.

Updated – This is something that you do on your end as well. If you want to ensure that you won’t lose your contacts, add them as contacts to your alternate email. This way, you can notify them from your alternate email if anything unfortunate happens to your other email which you regularly use to get in touch with them. Take some time to add the most important contacts you have to your alternate email so that if bad scenarios turn worse, you can easily inform the people you need to inform.

Benefits of Having an Alternate Email Address

An alternate email is another way of verifying your identity. This way, it helps counter identity theft. Just make sure that you know all the security answers for the alternate email and that you won’t forget the password.

Should something ever happen to your primary email address like getting a suspicious email and having it hacked—you can still notify people you need to contact when you have an active alternative email that has your contacts as well. This allows you to warn them if ever they receive anything from the other email account which you no longer have control of.

Overall, an alternate email allows you to still have control over your accounts if something unexpected happens. It would mean an extra level of security for your primary email address and more protection for your online mode of communication!

How do you maintain your email security? Do you have an alternative email? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

How to Identify Suspicious Emails

how to identify suspicious emailsThere is no limit to what cyber criminals will do to get into your accounts and do you harm. They are quite clever at what they do and will stop at nothing to get your email address, your name, and most importantly, your credit card information. These criminals are very hard to stop but it is important to note that you can do some things to ensure that you are protected. One of the things you need to do is make sure that you know how to spot suspicious emails and know what to do with them. It might seem like an impossible task at first but once you know how to identify suspicious emails, you will never have to worry again.

Signs of a Suspicious Email

Unfamiliar Address – Have you recently received an email that seemed important but was sent by an unfamiliar email address? If that is the case, you will want to delete that message or report it to your email service so they can take the necessary measures against it. When you receive messages asking you to send important information or money as a reply but you do not know who sent it, then you really shouldn’t give that email the time of day. It could be a phishing scam, a virus, or a criminal looking to run off with your money.

Incorrect URL – Cybercriminals are very creative when it comes to what they do to victimize you. One method they use is to send emails from face websites that mimic real ones. What they do is they copy the web address of a reputable site but they just change a letter or two or add a character or two. Some even use a different extension such as .biz instead of .com. So if you have gotten an email from CitiBank.net instead of CitiBank.com, then you know there is a problem and that is probably a phishing scam.

Wrong Grammar – This is another thing you need to watch out for when you receive emails because it is a clear sign that the email is a hoax. The reason for this is that companies will never send out grammatically incorrect emails because they have an image to protect. If you get an email that asks you to visit a certain website to input personal details but if the email is full of grammatical and punctuation errors, then you should report that to the mail service you are using. It could be a phishing email.

Virus Warning – You just got mail that tells you your computer is at risk for a new virus and you need to download a new antivirus which is actually a virus. It is sad that so many people fall for this but if you get mail that tells you alarming information about your computer, dismiss that email. This one is up to no good and is a hoax for sure.

Have you ever opened a suspicious email and lived to regret it? Share your experiences below and prevent others from making the same mistake!

How to Avoid Email Phishing Scams

email phishing scams Emailing is one of the most convenient ways to stay in touch and exchange information in a more personal yet professional manner online. While there are other messaging features from different social media websites, nothing beats having an email when it comes to communication for personal or professional purposes.

However, one must remember that as with anything which makes use of the Internet, there are certain risks that one must be aware of, so that they can be avoided. Phishing is one of the risks that come with frequent or improper internet use. In its simplest definition, phishing is when another individual or group of people extorts money from their victims by sending them emails. Ultimately, they can get access to your passwords, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information from where they can get money from you.

Cybercriminals achieve this theft by installing malicious software into your computer and stealing valuable information from you as well. They also send you messages that will convince you to give out personal information which they can in turn use to get money from your accounts. Other tactics in email phishing scams include sending several emails with various instructions, calling you on the phone, and enticing or directly instructing you to download software which will be their key to getting that much-needed information.

Tips for Identifying Email Phishing Scams

What are you being asked to do? If it is anything along the lines of downloading a software you don’t need but they tell you that you “need” it, be cautious. If you did not have a previous conversation with the person who is suddenly sending you this email, it would be best to not do anything it says.

Pulling on your heart strings. Some scam emails pull on your heartstrings by saying some personal things—disguising as a friend in need, or perhaps saying they are from an organization that needs help. Countercheck with the person they are pretending to be and check for more information about what organization they’re saying they are before doing anything.

Bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Cybercriminals don’t pay much attention when it comes to their grammar and more often than not, bad spelling can be the top indicator of a phishing email.

A threatening email. If you ever receive a threatening email saying your system’s security has been breached and that you need this and that software to get it cleaned up, do not follow the instructions especially if the email is from someone you do not know or not from the antivirus provider you have.

From “legit” websites. There are those which use names that can trick you by sounding very much like famous websites. Make sure you read links thoroughly and see if there are no unnecessary characters that would lead you to malicious pages.

By following these tips against email phishing scams, you can avoid the trouble of dealing with these people and you can keep your accounts safe, too. Have you ever had a phishing experience before? We’d like to hear your story!

How to Avoid Viruses in Emails

how to avoid viruses in emailsThere are various reasons on why some people spread viruses through email, but there are also lots of ways on how to avoid viruses in emails. These viruses can damage your computer and may lead to loss of files which is why being wary and smart when it comes to how you use your email is a must.

Today, using your email to send messages and communicate with people for business or personal purposes is one of the most common ways to keep in touch. Unfortunately, there are also risks which come with emailing, and some of them are unavoidable. By knowing how to avoid viruses in emails, you can save yourself the trouble of having to reformat your computer or change your email address altogether. Here are some tips you should follow:

Open only emails from contacts or expected people – If you ever receive an email from someone you do not know or are not expecting to hear from, your best course of action would be to not open this email altogether—especially if the subject entices you to. Some will go along the lines of “You’ve won…” or “Great opportunities meant for YOU!” and no matter how catchy these email subjects are, it would be better to not open them at all. You don’t know the sender, and it would be their loss, not yours if you skip their email.

Do not open attachments from suspicious emails – Should you ever accidentally click on a fishy email or perhaps open it out of curiosity and find that this email has an attachment of any kind, do NOT download the attachment because this is where the virus would be. Downloading the attachment is like inviting the virus to your computer, and you would definitely want to avoid that.

Do not click on links – Say you receive an email from a friend or someone you know and there’s a little link somewhere which they made no mention of. Do not click on this link because it may lead you to pages which will prompt the malware attack on your computer. Scrutinize the link and see if the address is from a recognizable page. If not, do not click it especially if your contact didn’t mention it. If you find a link in any other email from people you do not know, you should not click on that link either.

Keep your antivirus updated – As an extra layer of protection from email viruses and other kinds of viruses, always keep your antivirus system updated and make sure you have the option for scanning compressed files from emails, scanning downloads, and warning of malicious links and online pages. This way, you can avoid the trouble of having to deal with viruses that you can get online.

Practice being more aware of how you use your email and choosing which emails to read. Have you ever had to deal with a virus which you got from an email? How did you deal with it? Feel free to share your experience; we’d love to hear it!

How to Secure Your Email from Viruses

how to secure your email

Do you know that nefarious elements will stop at nothing to get to your email? After all, your email is a treasure trove of information which can be used to their advantage. This is why it is very important for you to keep your guard up and know how to secure your email from viruses and other harmful email activities.  You really can’t afford to be lax with email security and you can’t afford the that-will-not-happen-to-me mentality because if you have an email account and you are connected to the Internet, then yes, it can happen to you.

1) Install an antivirus program. This is one of the very best ways to make sure that no virus gets released to your computer when you open an email.  Basically, you need to install an antivirus scanning program and make sure that you keep it updated. This program will get to work by scanning all your incoming emails to check them for known viruses. If any emails get delivered and they contain viruses, you will be warned and the viruses will be prevented from entering your computer. Bear in mind that new viruses pop up on an almost daily basis so you need to upgrade your antivirus regularly as well.

2) Be extra wary of email attachments. Do you know that email attachments are the primary portals of viruses? For instance, you open your mail and you find a message in your inbox from someone you know and it has an attached file that could be a document, a photo, or even a program but is actually a computer virus. It is from someone you know so of course you open the file and unwittingly release a virus to infect your system.  Now, one saving grace from this is if you actually use an email service that has a function that works to block all sorts of dangerous files. Before you get too complacent, know that people who come up with viruses are genius at formulating ways to outsmart such virus blocking programs. So you should always be careful about opening attachments. Now if you receive an email with an attachment, try to err on the side of caution and ask the sender if they did send the attachment before you download or open it.

3) Use Antivirus programs to check compressed files. Do you want to know just how sneaky virus writers can become? Well, they usually send viruses in compressed .rar and .zip files. Most antivirus programs will scan these as they come in but if you really want to be safe, you must save the file in a folder and scan the files inside it once more before you open them.

4) Be careful with links in emails. Emails sent to you might not have attachments but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of them. If you receive emails with links, you might want to think twice about clicking on them since criminal elements often look to links as part of their spyware and phishing scams—they are also used to transmit computer viruses.  If the body of the email seems vague and doesn’t say anything specific, do not click on any links.

How to Recover a Hacked Email Account and Password Tips

how to recover a hacked email accountGetting your email hacked may seem unthinkable especially since you have a password and everything to protect it. However, emails getting hacked are getting more and more common than you think. In fact, according to surveys, 3 in 4 Americans will get their accounts hacked and 90% of businesses will suffer from some sort of setback due to hacking. It is becoming a serious problem and it is a good idea to know not just how to prevent getting hacked but also how to recover a hacked email account. This way, you do not feel helpless and out of sorts. Just remember that if your email or accounts get hacked, you are not totally helpless and you can do something about it.

Steps to Follow

1) Access your account. The first thing you need to do is go to the website of the email provider and log into your email account so you can assess the damage. You may encounter a problem if your password was changed so what you can do is to click on the “forgotten password” or other similar links.

Once you get into your email account, change your password immediately. Make sure that this time your chosen password is long and strong with numbers and special characters. Try not to use real words since they are easy to figure out.

2) Check other accounts. After you are done changing the password for your email, check your other accounts which use the same password as the one that was hacked and see if they are still intact. If you used your email address as the username or those accounts then it becomes even more important for you to change the password.  You can also check your email inbox or trash folder for signs that the hacker might have tried to hack other accounts.

3) Look for spam. Nobody really likes getting spam mail since those things are a pain in the neck. However, some hackers will get your account just so they can raid your contacts lists and send spam to your friends and other people in your contacts lists. They will then send spam or phishing emails so they can trick them into thinking you need help and money from them. Think of the Nigerian Prince email scam. Granted, it is quite tricky to check if your account was used for such a scam so just check your inbox for suspicious replies so you can target people who were victimized.

4) Sort your applications. Once you are done securing your hacked email and it is yours once more, your next move is to check apps which use the compromised password. Even if they have not been compromised themselves, it is a good idea to change passwords anyway just so you can err on the side of caution.

Password Tips

1) Try not to use real words as your password for your email and other accounts.

2) Never use a password twice.

3) Make your passwords nearly hack-proof by ensuring that you use numbers, special characters, and uppercase letters as well. 

How to Secure Yourself from Email Hackers

email hackers Your email address and inbox is something very personal. You use it for registering in various websites, for communicating for business or personal use, and it’s pretty much your online pass to more features of different places in the Internet.

However, your email is not entirely secure. There are professional email hackers who can get into your account and use it for their malicious purposes which may endanger your own image, information in your account, and almost everything connected to your hacked email.

How Do People Hack Emails?

Basically, hacking happens when an unauthorized person gains access to your account. Email hacking can be very easy especially when you leave your email account open in a public computer, when you use an unsecure public connection, or when you purposely or accidentally give your email address—with or without the password to an unreliable person. Email hackers are very witty and have just about every kind of software to phish and snoop online information.

For professional hackers, getting into your email account can be very easy. All they would need is to have your email address and they can use different tools and software to bypass security measures of your email provider. When you are connected to an unsecure public network or public computers which have previously been set by hackers to harvest sensitive information, they can easily get your password and gain control over your email address.

Avoiding Getting Hacked

There are several methods on how you can avoid getting hacked. Consider the following suggestions to help ensure your account stays all yours and highly protected:

1)  Do not lend your gadgets – More often than not, you leave all your accounts logged in on your devices. Make sure your device itself is password protected, and avoid lending it to anyone—especially people you have just met.

2)  Consider cloud computing for work-related and other sensitive files – This allows you to store and access information or various digital files while giving you an additional layer of protection. The password you use should preferably be different from the one you have for your email, and with cloud computing you can share messages, files, and folders to selected people without having to worry about your security.

3)  Sign out and clear the history – When using a public computer, make it a habit to log out and clear the browsing history of the browser you used. This can help reduce the risks of password recovery if ever the computer owners do this to their units.

4)  Update your antivirus – Some malware are especially made to harvest information, so make sure you have updated antivirus software to block these threats.

5)  Do not reply or even open scam-looking emails – If you don’t know who that sender is and the email has a bunch of pushy subjects or headings better not open or click any links.

6)  Be careful about the information you share to people – This applies especially if the questions they are asking are those which can be secret questions for your email address verification process.

7)  Comply with the additional security measures asked for by your email provider – There are several options provided to help ensure that you are the only one who has access to your account, so take some extra time to secure yours by following their tips.

Since email hackers find it easy to snoop private data online, these additional security tips can help you protect your account!