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.
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.