Email is one of the most important communication tools for both personal and professional use. But it also comes with many risks. Phishing, malware, spam, identity theft, and data breaches to name a few.
Protect your email and follow these tips
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Most email providers offer 2 Factor Authorization (2FA) as an option in their security settings. You should enable it whenever possible to make your account more secure. You can also use a third-party app like Google Authenticator to generate codes for multiple accounts.
This code is usually sent to your phone or another device via text message, email, or an app. This way, even if someone knows your password, they will not be able to access your account without the code.
- Use Separate Email Accounts
Most people have one central email account for all their personal activity. But this can be risky, especially if you use the same account for online shopping, banking, social media, and other services. If someone hacks into your email account, they can access all your other accounts and potentially steal your personal and financial information.
That’s why it is a good idea to use separate email accounts for different purposes. For example, you can have one email account for your work-related emails, another one for your personal emails, and another one for your online transactions. Setting up multiple email accounts could limit the damage if one of your accounts gets compromised.
- Set a Unique, Strong Password
Your email password is the first line of defense against hackers and scammers. If your password is weak or easy to guess, you are making it easier to break into your account. Avoid using common words, phrases, or personal information in your password. For example, do not use your name, birthday, pet’s name, or favorite movie as your password.
Create a password that is at least 12 characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols or create a passphrase that is meaningful only to you.
- Beware of Phishing Scams
Phishing emails can look like they are from a company you know or trust, such as a bank or an online payment service. They might claim that there is a problem with your account or your payment information and ask you to click on a link or open an attachment to fix it.
To avoid falling for phishing scams, you should:
- Never click on links or open attachments in emails that you do not recognize or trust.
- Never open an attachment that requests your personal credentials (passwords) to open the document
- Always check the sender’s address and the URL of the website before entering any information.
- Look for signs of spoofing, such as spelling errors, grammar mistakes, or mismatched logos.
- Report suspicious emails as spam using your email program’s method for doing this.
- Use an antivirus program and a firewall to protect your device from malware.
Remember, you are the best line of defense! Do not second guess yourself, if it looks suspicious, or unusual it probably is, and you should immediately send it to your spam folder!