9 Essential Email Security Tips You Must Know

Email Security Tips
Email Security Tips

We all know that the Internet is not safe. Hackers are really active and always try to hack into the email accounts of innocent persons. Nowadays, most of the office work is performed over the internet and email is the most widely used communication medium. We also use email addresses to signup for other services. If the email account is hacked, all the services we signed up for using the email address are also at risk. You can take over other social media accounts easily by using the password reset function. So we must take care of the security of our email accounts.

Email security tips

Before I start talking about email security tips, you should first check if your email account details have been leaked in a data breach. If you discover that your email was also in the dump in any of the past data breaches, change your password.

Read: Remotely Control a Computer With Google Chrome

Here are some important security tips you must know in order to keep your email account safe from hackers.

1. Create A Strong and Unique Password

Password is the key that secures your email accounts. So it must be as strong as possible. Never use common words as your password. Avoid using your father’s name, mother’s name, date of birth, friend’s name, phone number, or any other easy to guess things as a password. If you don’t know how to create a strong password, use strong password generator tools. These tools create a random, hard to guess and strong password.

2. Never reuse password

One important thing you must take care of is never reusing the same password on any other website. If you use the same password in your email accounts and other accounts then all your accounts will be at risk. For example, you created an account on a website using the same password you have for your email account. Now if the website is hacked and it didn’t encrypt your password, the hacker already has your email address and password combination. Your email account has also been hacked. There have been several incidents when one data breach led to putting accounts on other websites at a risk. Mark Zuckerberg had the same password for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. When LinkedIn was hacked and hackers got access to the email and password combination of millions of LinkedIn users, Zuckerberg’s email and password were also accessed. Hackers then use the same combination to hack into Zuckerberg’s Pinterest and Twitter accounts. What if he also had the same combination for his personal email address? So, don’t do this mistake. Always choose a different password. If you find it hard to remember all passwords, start using a good password manager.

Also see: Best Password Managers

3. Enable two-factor authentication

Now, most email service providers also offer two-factor authentication. If you want to add an extra layer of protection, enable two-factor authentication. If you enable two-factor authentication, it sends a verification code to your phone each time you try to log in from a new system. Even if someone gets your email and password, he won’t get access until he also owns your phone. If you are notified about a suspicious login attempt, you can instantly block access to it.

4. Beware of Phishing Scams

Phishing is the most widely used attack for hacking into email accounts. Social engineering and phishing create a dangerous attack. So you must take care of these phishing links. Never give your passwords on any other pages other than the login pages of your account. Always verify the link on the browser’s address bar before using the login form of the pages. Try to differentiate between mail.google.com and mail.g00gle.com URLs.

Most phishing attacks start by sending an email that forces you to click on a link and log in. For example, you receive an email saying you urgently need to verify your account or it will be deleted. Click the link to verify. Once you click the link, it asks you to log in. After entering login details, the page will send the email and password combination to the hacker. So always read emails carefully. These emails will have Spelling or grammatical errors. The content will have a proactive request for sensitive information that you should not. It will force you to click the link or download a file.

Always take a clear look at the sender and make sure the email was sent by an authentic user.

5. Never click on links in unknown emails

If you receive some suspected emails, avoid clicking on those links in the emails. If you open the email then avoid clicking on the links in these emails. If you get the email from a bank, then enter the URL manually in the browser. Never click on the link in the emails.

6. Don’t open attachments in emails sent from unknown senders

This is the most common attack hackers use to hack into computers. They send malicious files as email attachments to the victim and wait for him to open the attachment. These attachments install a trojan that gives attackers full access to your system and keystrokes.

7. Avoid using public Wifi and Public Computer

Public Wi-Fi and public computers are not safe. In public Wi-fi, your account may be hacked with a network sniffer, and your email id, the password can be hacked. Avoid using public computers because there may be keyloggers or trojans which can capture your passwords. If you have to use public wifi, use it with a good VPN.

Read: Schedule Emails to be sent later on Gmail

8. Use All Recovery Options

All popular email service providers give various recovery options including security questions, secondary email addresses, and phone number verification. You must use all these options to ensure the possible recovery of your account. In case someone has managed to hack into your account and change your password, you can easily recover your account with recovery options.

9. Use a good anti-virus software

Modern-day antivirus protects your system from keyloggers, Trojans, and malware. These software also provides protection against phishing pages. So, I recommend everyone to start using antivirus software to protect their computer and email accounts.

Wrap Up

These are simple but must follow security tips. Email service providers also try their best to protect users but scammers always find a way to exploit the weakness. In most cases, users end up giving their passwords to hackers and lose access to their email accounts. So, you should take care of the things I mentioned in this article. Your account will be safe.

In case you have any doubt, you can ask via comments.