How To Keep Your Email Secure
In today’s online world, emails are a vital part of everyday life. It’s a popular form of communication between businesses, families, and friends. As a result, it’s crucial to keep your emails safe and protect confidential information. Here are my top five tips for how to keep your email secure.
1. Use Two-Factor Authentication
The safest way to keep your email secure is to make sure it’s difficult for anyone else to log in. This means two-factor authentication is required. This is an extra layer of security that combines a password with a second verification step. This could be an email, a text message, or an authenticator app on your phone. This ensures that even if someone guesses the right password, then they still can’t access your email.
2. Use Strong Passwords
This should go without saying, but it’s surprising how many people today still use their pets names or their children’s birthdays as a password. The reason passwords are used, to begin with, is to keep your accounts and information safe, so why make it easier for hackers by choosing easily guessable passwords? The ideal password should be between 12 – 15 characters long, include both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as at least one number and one symbol. We’re all sick of hearing it, but that guideline exists for a reason. Stay secure.
3. Don’t Click-On Spam Email
We’ve all lost an important email or two to the infamous ‘Spam’ folder in our inbox, but it’s there for a reason. Many email providers automatically mark any suspicious mail as spam and leave them in a separate inbox for your final judgement. Clicking on these emails could release harmful viruses onto your computer, even if you don’t visit any of the provided links. If you’re unsure whether an email is dangerous or not, look at the sender’s email address. If there’s a string of numbers in it or if it’s from an email provider that you’ve never heard of before, delete it immediately. By not responding, the spammer will eventually stop contacting you.
4. Encrypt Your Emails
A more advanced form of security is encryption. That way, even if your email is hacked, then it cannot be read without the decryption key. The easiest way of doing this is by using Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, which is free encryption software. This can be set manually in some email providers by going into settings. The email is converted into unreadable ciphertext before being sent. Only the recipient has the key to convert the cypher back into the readable email.
5. Avoid Public Wifi
As tempting as it may be to click on that password-free internet account, don’t do it. Public WiFi is rarely secure and often has hackers lurking about just waiting for you to enter valuable information. If you absolutely have to connect to insecure WiFi, then don’t log into your email account. Don’t send any confidential email or message, and definitely don’t enter your bank details. Always assume that someone’s watching, so restrict your usage accordingly.