It’s no secret that email is one of the most common ways for hackers to gain access to your personal information. In fact, a recent study showed that approximately 81% of cyber attacks are launched through email.
From phishing attacks to malicious links and software, there are tons of different ways that hackers can gain access to your accounts.
The good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to help keep your email and other accounts safe from cybercriminals.
From encrypting emails using save email as pdf by CloudHQ to keeping antivirus software up-to-date, here are some of the best ways to protect your email:
1. Use a strong password.
We’ve all heard it before, but it bears repeating: make sure your password is strong. A combination of numbers, special characters, and upper and lowercase letters will help keep your accounts secure and reduce the chances of a hacker guessing or cracking them.
To make it clearer, use a password that is at least 10 characters long and contains a mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks.
What to avoid when creating a password?
When creating a password, avoid using words or phrases that can easily be guessed, such as a pet’s name or a family member’s birthday. Even if you think no one knows the information, hackers can often use social engineering techniques to guess your password.
2. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA).
Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your email account. Instead of just entering a username and password, you’ll also need to enter a code sent via text message or generated through a mobile app.
This means even if someone does gain access to your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the additional verification code.
3. Use a secure connection when accessing email.
When you access your email, make sure you’re always using a secure connection such as HTTPS or SSL (Secure Socket Layer). These encrypt the data being sent and received and make it much harder for hackers to intercept your information.
To check if a site is secure, look for a padlock icon in the address bar of your browser. You can see how to enable secure connections in your email settings.
4. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
Do you use the same password for multiple accounts? If so, it’s time to stop. Reusing passwords makes it easy for hackers to guess your credentials and gain access to all of your accounts.
Imagine if someone was able to gain access to your bank account simply because you used the same password for another site.
It’s always a good idea to use unique passwords for every account you create and make sure they’re strong enough that it would be difficult for hackers to guess them.
To help you remember them, you can use a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password.
5. Encrypt your emails.
The term ‘encrypt’ sounds complicated, but the process is actually very simple. Encryption scrambles information, so it’s unreadable to anyone other than the sender and recipient.
Using a service such as Save Emails to PDF by CloudHQ uses military-grade encryption to keep your emails secure.
How does encrypting help keep my email safe?
Encryption is one of the best ways to keep your emails secure. It helps protect against hackers, snoopers, and other cyber threats by making sure that only you and the intended recipient can read the contents of your messages.
By encrypting your emails, you can make sure that even if someone does gain access to them, they won’t be able to read the content.
6. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks.
You’re at a coffee shop or airport, and you need to access your email. While it may be tempting to use their public Wi-Fi, remember that these networks are often unsecured, making them easy targets for hackers.
If you must access your email on a public network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect yourself. A VPN will encrypt your connection and protect your data from prying eyes.
7. Be careful when clicking on links or downloading attachments
One of the most common ways hackers gain access to your account is by sending you malicious links or attachments.
Be careful when clicking on links in emails, even if they appear to come from a legitimate source. If it seems suspicious, don’t click on it. The same goes for downloading attachments.
Scan them with antivirus software before opening them. This will help ensure your device is not infected with any malicious code that could be used to gain access to your email account.
What are the signs to look out for in suspicious emails?
- Wrong sender name: The sender’s name is not the same as the email address.
- Incorrect grammar and spelling: Emails with poor grammar or spelling mistakes could signify a phishing attack.
- Unfamiliar attachments: If the attachment looks suspicious or unfamiliar, don’t open it.
- Weird hyperlinks: Hover over any hyperlinks in the message to ensure they lead to legitimate websites.
8. Keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up to date.
Everybody should have antivirus and anti-malware software installed on their computer. This software should be kept up to date to make sure it can detect the latest threats. Generally, any software updates should be installed as soon as possible.
With the latest security measures in place, you can protect yourself from malicious attacks that could compromise your email account.
How do antivirus and anti-malware software protect your email?
Antivirus or anti-malware software is designed to detect and block malicious programs, such as viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other types of malware.
By having these security measures in place, it’s harder for hackers to gain access to your email account. They can’t install keyloggers or other malicious software on your computer if your antivirus or anti-malware software is blocking them.
9. Don’t respond to suspicious emails.
We’ve previously mentioned how hackers can use phishing emails to try and gain access to your account. If you receive a suspicious email, do not respond or click on any links in the message.
The best thing to do is delete the email immediately and report it as spam. This will help prevent other people from falling victim to these attacks.
You can usually tell a phishing email because it will contain either strange grammar or spelling mistakes or requests for personal information. Most legitimate companies or organizations never ask for this information in an email.
10. Backup your email data regularly.
Another way to protect your email account is to regularly back up your data. If you have all of your emails and contacts stored in a separate location, then even if someone does gain access to your account, they won’t be able to delete or steal any information.
Backups can also help restore lost or corrupted data, so it’s important to ensure you have a backup of your email data in case the worst happens.
To back up your email data, you can export the files from your email service provider and save them on an external hard drive or cloud storage. This will keep your emails safe even if someone does gain access to your account.
Cybersecurity is necessary for anyone who uses email, and learning how to keep your email secure is one of the first things you should invest in. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can keep your email account secure and make it harder for hackers to access your data.