Email is one of the essential tools we use daily. It’s a quick and easy way to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. But did you know that email is also a common target for cyber attacks? Hackers are always looking for new ways to steal your information. Email is the most common form of web communication today, with a considerable amount of data sent through this channel daily at work and in daily life. According to the cybersecurity team from yourcybertips, the main reason why hackers highly target emails is that it’s the unique identifier for many online account logins. In this blog post, we will recommend ten ways to secure your email from cyber attacks. Follow these tips, and you can rest assured that your email account is safe and protected from hackers.
Why do hackers target emails?
Did you know that phishing is the most common cybercrime in the United States? In 2021, there were 323,972 victims of this crime. Most email spam comes from Russia, Germany, the United States, and China. More than 80% of global organizations experienced phishing scams in 2021. LinkedIn is the most phished brand worldwide at 52%, followed by DHL, Google, and Microsoft.
Hackers want to get into your inbox for several reasons. Most importantly, email is today’s most common form of communication on the web. But more importantly, it’s often used as a login credential for many online accounts. If your inbox gets hacked, the attacker can discern which services and accounts you’re subscribed to, and request password resets. Since password reset requests go through email, it would not be easy to stop. Also, cyber attackers will be able to cover their tracks. If your email gets hacked, the hacker can do almost anything on the internet with your personal information.
How to protect yourself from being hacked?
By following these ten steps, you can easily protect yourself and your loved ones online from email hacking:
1. Use a solid and unique password for your email account
One of the most important things you can do to protect your email from being hacked is to use a strong and unique password. A strong password is hard to guess and differs from the passwords you use for other accounts. A unique password is not operated by anyone else.
To create a solid and unique password, you can use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. You can also create a password that is at least 12 characters long. Be sure to use the same password for only one account.
A password manager can help you keep track of complex passwords and store them in an encrypted file so no one else can access them.
2. Use two-factor authentication
To log in to your account, two-factor authentication requires you to provide two forms of identification. The first form of identification is your username and password. The second form of identification can be either a number sent to your phone or an authentication code generated by an app.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to protect your email account from being hacked. It makes it more difficult for hackers to access your account, even if they know your username and password.
3. Review your account settings regularly
It’s important to review your account settings regularly and ensure they are configured correctly. In particular, be sure to check the following locations:
- Your email address
- Your login name
- Your password
- Your security questions and answers
- Your recovery options
If your information has changed, such as your email address or login name, update your account settings immediately.
4. Be aware of phishing scams
Phishing scams are emails or websites that attempt to steal your personal information by pretending to be from a legitimate company. Phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can be challenging to spot. Be sure to constantly hover over links before clicking on them to see where they lead, and never enter personal information into a website you don’t trust.
Be aware of the warning signs of a phishing scam:
- An email that asks for personal information such as your username, password, or social security number
- An email with a link that leads to a fake website
- An email with spelling or grammatical errors
If you suspect a phishing scam, do not respond and delete the email immediately.
5. Keep your operating system and antivirus software up to date
It’s essential to keep your operating system and antivirus software up to date to ensure the latest security patches are applied. Hackers can exploit outdated software to access your personal information, including emails. Set your operating system and antivirus software for automatic updates to always have the latest security features.
6. Use caution when opening attachments or downloading files
Be cautious when opening attachments or downloading files from emails, even if they appear from someone you know. These files could potentially contain viruses that compromise the security of your email account. Before opening an attachment or downloading a file, scan it with antivirus software.
7. Don’t give out personal information or login credentials through email
Never give out personal information or login credentials through email, even if the sender appears legitimate. A hacker could pose as a trusted individual to gain access to your account. It’s always best to contact the sender through a different method, such as a phone call or in person, to confirm their identity before sharing any sensitive information.
8. Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi connections are often not secure and can leave your email and other online accounts vulnerable to hackers. Avoid accessing sensitive information such as banking or email accounts when using public Wi-Fi. If you need to access these accounts, use a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.
9. Set up filters for spam and phishing emails
Set up filters in your email account to automatically flag and move suspicious emails, such as those containing attachments or links, to a separate folder. This will help prevent these potentially harmful emails from reaching your inbox and reduce the risk of your account being hacked.
10. Use encrypted email services
Consider using an encrypted email service to give your emails an extra layer of protection. These services use encryption technology to prevent unauthorized access and protect your emails from hackers. However, it’s important to note that the security provided by these services can only protect the contents of the email, not any attachments or links within the email. Be sure to exercise caution when opening attachments or clicking on links in your encrypted emails.
Following these tips and staying vigilant can help protect your email account from being hacked. Remember to regularly update your software, be cautious when using public Wi-Fi and opening attachments, and never give out personal information through email. Additionally, consider using an encrypted email service for added security. Stay safe online!
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