Tag Archives: email security

How Serious is Email Hacking?

how serious is email hacking

In this time and age where majority of personal and business communication is digital, maintaining an email account is very important. It’s a private and convenient form of communication. No wonder why email hacking is prevalent. Hackers target emails for a variety of reasons – some do it for identity theft and some do it for petty reasons such as boredom. But how serious is email hacking? And what can you do if you become a victim?

Why Hack Your Email?

Reused password.

One of the main reasons hackers attack an email is to gain access to your password. Think of it this way. What are the chances that your Ymail and Gmail passwords being the same? Most likely, they’re identical. Or, at least, the majority of the characters are the same. When someone successfully hacks your email account, the opportunity of gaining access to your financial and social accounts wouldn’t be a hardship anymore. That’s why it’s important to have different passwords for your online accounts.

Identity Theft.

Gaining access to your email is gaining access to your privacy. The hacker can easily send correspondence to your loved ones and colleagues. This gets worse if your email account is for business because the hacker can fool your customers to either ask for money or destroy your business’ reputation.

Spread virus.

However short or long your contact list is, an email hacker doesn’t really care, as long as he or she can spread malicious malware or virus. It’s like a domino effect. You get hacked, you spread virus to your contacts.

What to Do Next?

If you become a victim of email hacking, you can:

Change the password.

If the hacker forgot or didn’t have enough time to change your password, you can get your account back by changing it yourself. Make it a lot stronger, complex and unfamiliar. Stay away from personal details and preferences that the hacker can clue-in from your other online accounts.

Report the incident ASAP

. Don’t dwell on your despair. Instead use the emotion to fire you up and report the hacking to your email provider the soonest possible time. And make sure to log out of your other accounts. If you can multitask, change all your passwords. Jot them down on a piece of paper (and not online) for added security.

Your email provider tech group has a lot of experience handling email hacks. Email support has the tools and resources to recapture your account. So by reporting the hacking fast, you give yourself a backup.

Notify the people on your contact list.

Tell them that your account has been compromised and any correspondence from your email address should be automatically deleted. This will prevent them from becoming a victim, too.

Immediately scan your PC for virus or malware.

Email hacking usually comes up with malicious bugs or Trojan that can target your entire operating system. By scanning your computer, you’re taking a proactive approach in ensuring that other files, documents and applications are safe.

Email hacking is a serious offense. If proven guilty, hackers can face jail time. To avoid being a victim, take necessary precautions in keeping your account secure. How about you, what methods do you do to keep your email safe from hackers?

How Many Email Addresses Should You Manage to Avoid Email Security Risks?

People usually rely on email these days to send mail since snail mail takes too slow and people love it so much that they sometimes have multiple accounts. In fact, some office workers rely on 2 to 3 email accounts which they use for different things such as work emails and personal emails. However, one thing that bears remembering is that these email accounts can be vulnerable to security threats if they are not secured and managed properly. According to some experts, it is best to have just 2-3 email accounts so you do not lose track of them in terms of security.

It is easy to become vulnerable to email security risks if you have more than 3 email accounts because you can lose track of the things you open and mails that get sent to the accounts. With phishing scams and other email security threats on the rise, it is best to learn how to protect yourself and your email accounts.

Email Security Risks – Beat Them!

email security risks

For those who have 2 to 3 email accounts, below are some tips that you might want to check out so that you do not make yourself vulnerable to risks and threats online. These are very easy steps that you should have no problems following.

Use different passwords for each account.

Yes, this can prove to be confusing but it really is for the best. You see, you do not want to use the same passwords for all three accounts because when that password of yours is leaked, then all your other accounts will be compromised as well. Do not use one password and use different numbers at the end to make them different; just use entirely different passwords that are made up of special characters (if applicable) as well as numbers. Securing your emails, especially the ones you use for work and for personal reasons is very important.

Use a SPAM filter.

SPAM mail is not only irritating but it can also be filled with scams, viruses, and other dangerous links that could compromise your computer. If you have three accounts, make sure that you use spam filter on all of them. This way, all junk mail and SPAM mail are sure to go to a special folder and you will not have to deal with any of them.

Use an email manager.

Do you know that you can now use apps to help you manage your email accounts all in one place? There are also websites that allow you to do such a thing and one shining example is mail.com and all you need to do is sign up so you can manage all your email accounts in one place. Not only does this save you time—it also gives you peace of mind knowing your email accounts are safe and sound. Plus, you do not miss out on any important emails.

That said, you can have as many accounts as you want as long as you know how to manage them and keep them from risks. How many email accounts do you have and how do you manage them all?

How to Increase Email Security

how to increase email security

Email is one of the biggest benefits that the Internet has brought people but it is also one that is most often abused. People will send threats and malicious messages from anonymous accounts, companies will send out junk mail every day, and you have shady characters try to send you phishing emails or ones that have viruses. You really cannot let your guard down when it comes to your email account and the things contained within.

Most email, if not all, email service providers will take the necessary steps to secure your email but that is not always enough. It will do you good to know how to increase email security from your end so you can rest more easily knowing you will not have to deal with malicious or scam emails.

Increasing Email Security – Steps to Take

Some of you might be worried that these steps will be too technical but the fact of the matter is they are quite simple. Besides, even if they are somewhat difficult, it is your safety and privacy at sake so you really can’t risk not doing them and leaving your email vulnerable to attacks. Have a look at some of the steps below and see if you can apply them to your own email account.

Turn on SPAM filter – Do you know that your email address gets lots of junk mail? You might have signed up for some of those junk mail but one thing is for sure and that is you never signed up to receive SPAM mail that could hold all sorts of viruses and phishing emails. What you can do is turn on your SPAM filter so that all those emails go to a separate folder and you do not have to see them. This is really a very simple thing to do and can do wonders in increasing your email security.

Scan all email attachments – Most email service providers will have features that allow you to scan all the attachments that you receive for viruses. You should make sure that you scan all attachments even the ones that come from people you know. Also, if you get mysterious emails that come with attachments, forget about scanning them; save yourself the trouble and just delete them ASAP.

Update security question – This is very important because it could save you in case someone gains access to your account and you cannot get in anymore. The security question will pop up if someone tries to open your account in an unfamiliar location and it can also help you retrieve your account. Make sure that the security question has an answer that only you know and never give out the information to anyone.

Change passwords every so often – Now this might seem like a pain in the neck but it is necessary. Try to change your password every 6 months so you keep them criminals guessing.

These are some of the top tips that you can use to secure your email. Have you tried any of them on your own account? Share your thoughts below.

How to Recognize Spam Senders

spam sendersSpam senders could easily invade your email inbox, sometimes causing you to miss out on the more important messages. Although emails are usually able to detect spam messages, some of them are able to go through the barriers that are set, eventually showing up in your inbox just the same. Worse, some spam senders could automatically prompt your account to send out similar emails without you knowing it, especially if you open the message or click on any of the links that come with it by mistake.

The ability to recognize spam senders then becomes crucial to avoid compromising your account and to keep the messages from spreading. Here are a few things you have to watch out for to avoid them:

The Sender

It is sometimes easy to detect spam from the name of the sender that shows up on your inbox. Look for the following details:

People or business names you don’t recognize.

Once you see an email that comes from someone you don’t know, there is a big possibility that this is spam. If the name does not seem familiar to you, try to recall people or businesses you may have dealt with in the past and think of possible reasons for them to try to contact you. If you do not recall any of them having similar names as the ones showing up on your email, mark the message and report it as spam. If this is legitimate and the message is important, they would probably try to contact you some other way or send you another message with a clearer subject line.

Names or addresses that seem familiar but are slightly different than the original.

Take note of the small details in the sender’s name. If you know for a fact that your friend’s email address ends with a ‘.com’ but the message comes in with the same user ID but with a ‘.net’ in the end, then this is probably spam.

The Subject

The subject lines also play an important role in figuring out which messages are spam, and which of them are legitimate. Look out for:

Inappropriate or explicit subject lines.

Some emails have subject lines that would make any decent person blush. Obviously, these are spam.

Extravagant offers or claims.

Some emails would tell you that you have just won billions of dollars in the lottery, or would tell you that you are eligible for a free trip around the world. Unless you really did join a raffle that offers the same thing and the sender really is the company where you signed up for the raffle, then this is definitely spam. Spam mails would often play on your excitement first, so think before you click no matter how enticing the offer may be.

Offers about pharmaceuticals drugs, luxury products, or anything similar.

You have probably received an email or two offering huge discounts on medication and other products. If you did not sign up for any mail catalogs and these just ended up in your inbox out of nowhere, then be wary of these messages.

In avoiding spam senders, the rules are usually easy. Just think before you click, and you’ll be safe. How about you? What are your tried-and-tested methods of avoiding spam? Share below!

What are the Disadvantages of Hard Disk Backup?

If you are one of those people who frequently use their emails to communicate with others or to subscribe to blogs, you’d agree that every once in a while, you get those messages which you do not know the origins of and maybe once or twice you’ve opened this only to be met by spam. If these emails find themselves in your inbox or spam folders, it would be wise to avoid opening them because you do not know who or where they are from.

What is the Nigerian Prince Email Scam?

disadvantages of hard disk backup

There are Nigerian scammers who take advantage of gullible email users by promising them a sum of money in exchange for helping them out with the proceedings of a deal. If you ever get unsolicited email or anything at all that promises you money for services, stay away and discard the said email.

These scams, when replied to, will explain more things to you as you go along and will then ask you for advanced fees before you proceed. The moment you are asked for money, you can be sure that this email is a scam. The Nigerian prince scam in particular would say they are a member of the royal family and they need help transferring large amounts of money out of the country. When you think about it, why would members of any royal family approach a stranger – through email, to help them with their funds transfers? That alone will make you wary of this deal.

Negative Results from Email Scams

One of the disadvantages of hard disk backup is that email scams and other computer viruses target your hard disk for information. Those who fall into the trap of email scams may be subjected to identity theft and loss of information. If your hard disk has valuable information, you must be more particular about how you choose to proceed so as to avoid information loss, or worse, identity theft.

Some email scams come with malware and some work right when you open the email or click on a link indicated in it. Make sure you always update your antivirus protection, or if possible, have an email security protection software to help you protect your information. Loss of personal information, files, and even money has been known to happen when third parties have access to your email and personal information which is why securing your email and device with the right tools and software can help you out.

The damages from email scams can be irreparable especially when your backup files are all in your hard disk and some malware gets to it. Once they have the digital information you are saving, they can even use it against you and it will negatively impact your work performance or reliability to your clients. Be mindful when opening emails and practice constant vigilance when it comes to whose emails you read and decide to correspond with. This way, you can help ensure the protection of your files.

Have you ever seen a scam email in your inbox? We’d like to learn more about your experience, so please comment on this post for further discussion.

How to Encrypt Your Email in 4 Ways

How to Encrypt Your Email in 4 WaysThese days, a lot of communication is done through sending and receiving emails. Some information you send out may contain sensitive data. Wrongdoers want access to your data and they can easily do so by taking a peak at your email once you send it out. Remember, unencrypted emails are easy for people with the right training to read, and if they get their hands on your information, your accounts may be hijacked. This is why encrypting your email is important regardless of whether you deal with sensitive information or not. There are different ways on how to encrypt your email depending on where or how you check it.

Encryption for Different Ways of Accessing Emails

• Check for SSL/TSL encryption on your web browser. Before sending out any emails through the web-based email program of your preference, take a look at the address bar and confirm that they are using the https address instead of the usual http. Don’t forget to check this especially if you are using an unsecure connection like public Wi-Fi hotspots. If you don’t see the secured https address, simply type the additional s after the http and see if that leads you to the encrypted address.

•  Change the settings of desktop client programs to enable encryption. Desktop client programs like Microsoft Outlook have the option to encrypt your emails if you go to the settings menu, search for the Advanced tab, and check the option to require encrypted connection. Similarly, if you are using an email app on your smartphone or tablet, head over to the Advanced or Security settings and see if there is an option to encrypt your data.

•  Encrypt existing emails on your mail app. Even existing emails can also be encrypted on your mail app by encrypting the entire drive where your emails are stored or by adding a layer of protection through third party apps that offer encryption services. Windows PC owners using the Outlook software can choose to manually encrypt their emails by right-clicking on the .pst file on their computer and going to Properties, then to Advanced, and choosing Encrypt contents to secure data.

•  Encrypt new emails. Start learning how to encrypt your email with open source and commercial applications created specifically for encryption and decryption. Different encryption software work differently. Some of them require installation and a public key that you need to give out to the people you send emails to, while others use the convenience of SMS messages to provide the password used to decrypt the email.

For your own peace of mind, and for the security of all your information, whether they may be relevant or not, you should consider encryption. This added protection will make everything you send unreadable to the prying eyes of strangers who want to access your accounts. It is best to remember that different channels used to access emails may use different encryptions, so make sure that you are covered on all bases. Your desktop application should be encrypted as well as your mobile app. Leave no weak spots.

Are you already using email encryption? What are the encryption types that you use and what do you prefer? Share your thoughts and suggestions with others!

Security for Your Email Past Your Computer

security for your email Most people will agree that one of the very best ways to protect themselves is to secure their email accounts. This means they become very careful with the links they open and the passwords they use. After all, secure passwords are the first line of defense for all email accounts. If you are serious about your email account, it is safe to say that you probably have a very strong password in place that is made up of letters, numbers, and even symbols. However, one thing you need to know is that security for your email isn’t just about passwords and virus scanners; it is also about making sure that your computer is clean and that there are no viruses and malware just gearing up to attack your private information.  If you want to make sure security for your email is at its best, below are some things you need to know.

Basic Tips and Info

Use a good antivirus. You may be using an email virus scanner to check each and every email that you receive but what good does that do when the threat is in your computer? While it is a good idea to have a special virus scanner to check your emails, it is also a good idea to have an antivirus for your entire PC. This way, it can warn you of any phishing scams or viruses that are stealing passwords and other sensitive information you are protecting.

Install good spyware. This is another very important security measure that you need to put in your computer. This protects your PC from spyware like Keylogger which can steal all your information—yes, that includes your hyper-secure email password. Face it—that complicated password of yours will not be any good if some spyware gets it and spreads it to nefarious elements that will hack your account. When you install spyware and you already have an antivirus in place, you might want to observe how they interact with each other.

Tips for when You are Out and About

Always log out. If you are outside your house and you use a public PC to check your mail, make sure you log out when you are done. So many people have been victims of hacking simply because they forget to log out of their accounts. Always, always log out of your account and make sure that little “remember me” box is unchecked.

Secure your Wi-Fi. You might think viruses can only be spread by way of computers and email but you need to know that experts are warning of Wi-Fi-borne viruses as well. Never use a Wi-Fi connection that you do not trust.

It always pays to be careful especially when your email is involved. If you want to know more about how you can protect your email wherever you go, try to check out this link right here. It features tons of tips on how you can protect your email at work and in other settings as well for your own peace of mind.

Do you think these tips will help you? Has your email ever been hacked? Let us know all about it here!

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!

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!

How to Improve Email Security by Using Different Email Addresses

email securityHaving just a primary email address to use to register for different online accounts is good, but being wise with how you use your active email addresses is even better. Being mindful of email security can help you take better care of your online identity. Here are some tips when it comes to improving email security so that you can protect yourself better online:

Use a separate email for bank accounts – There is now a multitude of banking options for today’s society, and being able to check your accounts online is possible as well. You can do this by registering for their online banking services, but you cannot do so without a valid email. Since you will be connecting your email to a bank account—something which is of real value and can impact your finances should something ever go wrong, you must use an email which you use only for the purpose of banking transactions. This way, you lessen the risks of getting spam mail, or leaving it open in computer shops when you answer personal emails. Try to restrict the use of your banking email for just banking purposes, and make sure that you have a strong password for this email.

Separate your work and personal email – This should be a given, but there are times when people tend to overlook this. Have an email account you use strictly for work, and another one strictly for personal purposes. You can also open another one strictly for your social media sites to improve further on your email security. This helps you become a more organized professional by seeing only work-related emails at work and not being distracted by personal emails from friends or family. By separating your work and personal email, you are setting a clear line on how you use your email inbox, and you are also able to keep things more organized especially for work.

Have an email which you use for online registration purposes – You know what it’s like—you register for an account online and you will get notifications of every little thing that happens after you have activated your account. When you use your personal email for online registration purposes, you will have that tendency of clogging your inbox with notifications you really don’t read. This may lead to not being able to notice personal or work email if you use the same email for registration purposes. Because of this, it would be good to have an account which you use solely for online registration purposes.

Make sure you remember your alternate email address details – When you sign up for different accounts, you will be asked for an alternate email address to which they will send information if you forget the details for your new account, so make sure you remember the alternate email address you use. Better yet, use a single alternate email address so that you know which email to run to for recovery purposes.

By having multiple email addresses for different purposes, plus updating your password every once in a while, and checking your inbox to make sure everything is still okay, you will benefit from these email security practices!

What did you think of today’s article? Feel free to comment below and share your best email security practices!