Email security is a major concern for many people, as unauthorized access to your email account can have serious repercussions, potentially compromising sensitive information, leaving your devices open to hackers and even leading to financial loss. Keeping your email secure can be extremely difficult, as hackers are constantly looking for ways to gain access to personal and business email accounts. Many people also make common mistakes that make it easier for hackers to access their accounts. If you want to protect your email account and prevent security breaches, here are five things you should never do.
Choose Real Words as Passwords
Passwords that use complete words, no matter how long or obscure the word may seem, offer extremely limited protection against hackers and should never be used to secure your email account. Ideally, passwords should be at least 15 characters long and a mixture of numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and special characters. Never use birthdays, anniversaries, names, whole words or anything else that could be guessed.
Click On an Email Link
Phishing scams are now so prevalent that it’s wise to avoid clicking any links in your emails. Scam emails often appear to be from a genuine source, such as your bank, credit card company or even a personal acquaintance and can use clever ploys to get you to enter your passwords, account numbers and other sensitive information into official-looking forms. Always type the full web address into your browser, rather than clicking email links.
Connect to Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
Unsecured wireless networks leave your data and passwords vulnerable to hackers, as the data you send and received can be easily intercepted. Only connect to wireless networks that are password protected and provided by a reputable source. If you must use a public network, remember to disconnect when you have finished and try to avoid accessing any site that requires you to enter your password, account number or other personal information.
Post Your Email Address Online
Hackers, scammers and spammers harvest email addresses that have been posted on forums, classified advertisements, dating websites and other public websites. If you need to provide an email address for business, professional or other important purposes, always create a separate address that will not be used to communicate with personal contacts, financial institutions or for any other private conversations.
Use Outdated Software
Operating systems, security software and mobile applications all provide regular updates to add patches, fix security issues and keep their software up to date. Keep your programs, applications and operating systems running smoothly and protect against hackers by installing updates as soon as they are available. Antivirus software, in particular, needs to be constantly updated to protect against the newest threats, as new viruses and other malware are being created every day.
Email security is a problem for both individuals and businesses, as compromised email accounts can lead to device vulnerability, data theft and financial loss. Taking just a few simple precautions can help to protect your email and prevent hackers gaining access to your account.
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