In today’s digital age, email is one of the essential tools we use to communicate. We use it for work, personal, and even financial matters. Yet, many of us take the security of our email accounts for granted.
We assume that our passwords are strong enough, and we trust that the companies that provide email services have enough measures in place to keep our accounts secure. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Email accounts are often compromised, leading to a range of consequences, from identity theft to financial loss. In this article, we will discuss practical tips on how to improve the security and privacy of our email accounts.
The Importance Of Email Security
To Protect Our Sensitive Data
As we increasingly rely on digital communication, our email accounts have become a repository for much of our sensitive personal information. They hold a treasure trove of personal data that we need to protect.
The hacking of private moments can lead to embarrassment, humiliation, or even blackmail. Your professional relationships and even your career can take a hit when you lose access to your work-related correspondence.
The security and privacy risks associated with compromised email accounts also extend to financial and crypto assets, as well as shared passwords.
Emails are a popular way for crypto owners to store their wallet keys. This means everything can disappear with a hacker within a minute.
When you share passwords with others through an insecure email, you are putting all of your accounts at risk.
To Protect Associated Accounts
Emails have become the primary tool for online identification and registration. Let’s face it – we’re pretty reliant on them to sign up for almost everything online. Most websites also use them as the default means of communication with their users, including password recovery and resetting processes.
This is convenient for us as it simplifies the whole process. But it also means that if someone gains access to your email account, they can potentially access other online accounts linked to that email address. That’s like giving a thief the keys to your entire digital life.
It’s not just about unauthorized access though. What if you suddenly forget the password of your email and lock yourself out?
You may have to go through a tedious process of resetting it, which could take a lot of time, effort, and frustration. Worse yet, you’d lose access to all your other online accounts connected to that email address, including your bank, social media, and e-commerce accounts.
How To Secure Personal Email Accounts
Despite the highly personal nature of email data, many people don’t consider the potential risks.
The truth is email accounts are often low-hanging fruits for hackers, who can easily gain access and snatch all the information they want. The good news is that there are steps you can take to fortify your email account and the information it contains.
Use A Strong And Unique Password
One of the best things you can do to protect your email account is to use a strong and unique password.
It should be difficult for others to guess or crack even with brute-force tools. This password should be longer than 12 or so characters and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
While it can be tempting to use the same password for all your accounts, doing so is a major security risk. If a hacker manages to get ahold of your password through another account, they could potentially access all your other accounts, including your email.
Do Not Share Your Password With Anyone
It’s important to keep your password to yourself and avoid sharing it with anyone. Your friend or a family member may have no motive to take over your account, but they may accidentally lose the password you entrust them with and put it at risk.
If you’re worried about forgetting your password, consider using a password manager like Locker to securely store your passwords and make them easy to access when you need them.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is one of the most effective ways to add an extra layer of security to your email account.
With it enabled, you’ll need to provide additional information beyond just your password to log in to your account. By requiring more than just an authentication factor to access your account, you can prevent unauthorized access and keep your personal information safe.
This can include a code sent to your phone or an app, a fingerprint or facial recognition scan, or even a physical security key. With so many different methods available, it’s easy to find an option that works for you.
Learn How To Detect Scammers And Phishing Attacks
In today’s digital world, scammers and phishing attacks are a constant threat, and email is often the primary way these attacks are carried out.
One common tactic used by scammers and phishers is to send emails that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or an online retailer. These emails often contain urgent requests for personal information or financial details and may include links to fake login pages or malware-infected attachments.
To protect yourself, always check the sender’s email address, as scammers often use fake or slightly altered addresses. Be cautious of urgent or threatening language, and never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
By staying vigilant and learning how to detect these scams, you can help keep your email account and personal information secure.
Use A Secure Email Service
If you want to ensure the utmost security for your email, a secure email service is your best bet.
Such providers provide robust encryption, and data privacy features to keep your messages safe from prying eyes. They should design their services with security in mind, offering end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication out of the box.
While choosing such an email service, you must pay attention to the fine print. Some providers claim to offer “secure” email but, in reality, store your data on unencrypted servers or share it with third parties.
Avoid Public Computers
Using public computers to read or send emails is typically frowned upon due to their potential risks. Those computers can be vulnerable to malware, keyloggers, and other security threats that can compromise sensitive information, including login credentials and personal data. These risks are magnified in high-traffic areas such as libraries, airports, or cafes.
It’s better to avoid using public computers whenever possible to protect your email accounts. Instead, use your own devices or machines you can trust, like those at your workplace.
If you must use a public computer, take extra precautions by logging out of your account completely, clearing any browsing data, and avoiding any suspicious links or attachments. Remember, your personal data and privacy are invaluable, so it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting them.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Many people overlook this, but keeping your operating system and other software up-to-date is one of the simplest yet crucial things you can do to protect your digital life.
Outdated software may contain severe security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to your devices and subsequently everything on them. That is why updates often include security patches that address newly discovered vulnerabilities and enhance the overall security of your system.
Think of it like a game of cat and mouse. Hackers are constantly trying to find new ways to exploit security weaknesses, while software developers are continuously releasing updates to patch these vulnerabilities.
With an up-to-date system, you are staying one step ahead of potential attackers and ensuring the safety of your email account. And by failing to install these updates, you are essentially leaving the door open for attackers to infiltrate your computer and compromise your email account.
Regularly Review Your Login Activity
Most popular email providers such as Gmail offer security alerts to notify you of any suspicious activity. These alerts may include information about login attempts from unknown devices or unusual locations. By paying attention and promptly addressing these alerts, you can take action to secure your account and stop any further unauthorized access before it’s too late.
Using Locker’s Private Email Feature
Locker’s new feature, Private Email, is a game-changer for users who prioritize their privacy and security. With this feature, you can generate an unlimited number of unique aliases and hide your true emails.
Those aliases can be incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. Let’s say you’re signing up for a new online service, but you’re hesitant to give them your real email address. With an alias Locker gives you, you can prevent spam messages from flooding your inbox.
Or perhaps you’re running a business and want to keep your personal email separate from your work email. With aliases, you can create different email addresses for different purposes without having to manage multiple accounts.
If you’re concerned about security, using an email alias can be a smart move. By using a different address for each service or website, you can limit the potential damage if one of your accounts is compromised.
In today’s digital age, it’s important to understand the sensitivity of our email accounts and take steps to protect them.
Using a password manager like Locker can be an effective way to start, as it can help you generate and securely store strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts, including your email account.
Additionally, Private Email is an excellent feature for anyone who wants to take their email security and privacy to the next level. It provides users with peace of mind, knowing that their true email address is safe from unwanted attention and potential malicious attacks.
Let’s take proactive measures to protect your digital lives and personal information by installing Locker on your devices and managing your email accounts with it.