Email security is all about using different tactics and tools to filter out and identify potential attacks. Without this kind of protection, your emails are open for hackers to exploit, through a number of different methods. While, the best option for anyone, when it comes to securing their email is to employ the services of an actual system security company, there are things that you can do, right now, to enhance your email security.
1. Make Sure Your Password Is Unique
When it comes to creating multiple accounts, it’s always best that you use unique passwords for each one that you have. This should reign true, irrespective of the level of importance you attach to each email account that you create.
Using the same password for every account that you create, is a mistake that most beginners make. This is because, if someone was to hack into your account and find all your personal emails, Facebook notifications, and the like, it’s more than likely that they would test the same username and password on other email services.
I know, this should be silly, but the reality is, that it’s still a fairly common mistake. Even I can say I was once guilty of doing it, using the same password for all my accounts. Though, no one was ever able to guess it, so I never experienced what I could have experienced.
2. Protect the Emails You Send
When you send an email to a client, the path that the email takes will vary, as it travels through different servers before reaching its destination. During its travel, anyone with the appropriate knowledge could hijack this email and read its contents, without the sender even knowing that said information has been compromised.
In order to protect your emails from these snoopers, there are a number of things that you can do. One of the most common methods is to use TLS encryption. With TLS you get an additional layer of protection for your emails, which will prevent hackers from being able to read the hijacked content, in the event that it is hijacked. If you do not enable TLS or if the server that your email(s) are being sent across doesn’t support it, then your communications will continue to go ahead unsecured.
Generally, what you want to do, is protect attachments in your emails using a password, which can be done, with zip files, for example. This will ensure that only the person you want to read/see the attachment will read/see it.
3. Regularly Back Up Your Data
One of the most accountable things that you can do on your computer, is to back up its data, on a regular basis.
The number of ransomware attacks is continuing to rise as each day passes, this is because of how lucrative it has become. Once one of these viruses gets onto your system, it will immediately begin to scan and encode your files. When your important files have been encrypted, the virus will then proceed to notify the user, demanding payment for the key to decrypt them.
These attacks are without a doubt, one of the worst kinds of attacks you can fall prey to, leaving you with a system that is pretty much useless. Once your files have been encoded, you have two options, which is to either pay the money or potentially lose all the data on your system.
However, if you back up your files on a regular basis, then you can be sure that all your files will be safe from such an attack. In the event that your files are encoded by a ransomware virus, you can simply retrieve your files, using your backups.
4. Avoid Phishing Scams
When working with a particular product or company that requires you to input account details. You must have seen a message that read something like the following: “Do not give away your personal information, and we will never ask you for your password.” This lets you know, that if anyone were to ask you for personal information in an email, that it is a trick.
However, there are levels to these kinds of scams, with the top-level being referred to as phishing. Basically, it works by hackers creating fake versions of high-profile websites, like Facebook, PayPal, Amazon. And the like, and then stating, in these emails that there’s something wrong with your account, that to fix the problem. The end-user need only enters their username and password into one of these fake websites, for verification purposes. In most cases, the email will have a link to the false website that looks very authentic.
Thus, you should be very wary of such requests. Companies never ask you for your personal information and in most instances will ask you to go to the website yourself, instead of through a link provided in an email.
5. Don’t Open Unsolicited Attachments
When it comes to attachments, they can be a very tricky thing to think about. If a friend or family member has sent you an email, notifying you that it will contain something of interest to you, then by all means, go ahead and open the attachment. It’s in these circumstances when you can be confident that there’s no malicious intent.
But if you’ve received an attachment in an unsolicited email, then you should never open it. Even if the file looks legitimate, as there’s a good chance that it is not. It’s very easy to disguise files behind something legitimate, like a JPEG file disguised as an EXE file that will run, the moment you download it to your system. Leaving you with have a virus to contend with.
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