While many technological advancements have sprung from the world’s shift towards a more digital landscape, it has also been an inevitable side effect that virtual crimes have grown a lot more rampant.
Ill-intentioned hackers and cyber criminals have set their sights on email addresses, as it is usually always the primary requirement to create an account on any online platform.
The unfortunate truth is, for most people, once their email address is compromised, most of their online accounts could be compromised, including their social media identities, sensitive corporate data, and even online bank accounts.
Thankfully, awareness and prevention can drastically help reduce your risk of falling prey to these digital predators. Let’s discuss some tips on how to prevent any email-related cyberattacks.
Secure your password.
Your password is practically the key you need to access a particular online experience. If someone with malicious intent somehow manages to guess your password, your access will be gone, along with anything valuable you have stored within these accounts. This could be anything from active followers to online trades and currencies. Maybe even business information!
This is why it is vital to be highly cautious about password security. Here are a few password-related tips you should practice:
- Don’t use simple and predictable passwords. A string of alphanumeric characters and symbols makes a good password.
- Don’t use the same password for all websites. If a hacker gets one, they will get a hold of all.
- If possible, use a trusted password manager to use and store your password safely. Contact us at MSG to learn more about our password security service.
Opt for Two Factor Authentication.
Although passwords exist as a barrier to securing our accounts, incidents happening all over the internet prove that they are insufficient. Such misfortunes happen even to those who have strong passwords, use password managers, and are extremely careful.
Hackers will only get craftier just to get their hands on passwords. They do this via data leaks, phishing scams, and countless other illicit activities.
Two Factor Authentication (TFA) was created as an extra barrier or safety net in case your password fails to protect your account.
By enabling TFA and requiring it to log in to your email address, your identity is not only verified by the knowledge of your password but also by other means, such as via your mobile number or via an authenticator, such as the Microsoft Authenticator App.
Stay vigilant whenever you browse through your mail.
Anyone can send anything to your online mailbox, making it vulnerable to many different cyberattacks.
This vulnerability means that you should practice caution whenever you check your inbox, which you can do by taking note of the following tips:
- Be wary of those who are not on your contact list. While some may have genuine intent, others do not.
- Don’t click on any suspicious links. Double-check URLs, even when they seem safe.
- Don’t download files that seem strange or out of place. A better rule of thumb is: don’t download any attachments from contacts that are not verified or contacts whose content you did not sign up for.
- Verify any shop names or website names. Email platforms such as Outlook now have an automatic verification feature, but it’s best to still double-check the sender from time to time.
Some phishing scams are disguised to look like familiar companies or contacts just to extract sensitive information from you, such as account passwords.
- If something within an email seems unclear or suspicious, respond to the email’s sender to verify the information they’re giving you.
- Turn on your email’s spam filter.
Always send emails using a secure WiFi connection.
Never send emails using free WiFi connections or hotspots you just happen to pass by. Such connections are fairly easy to “listen to”, which means that sensitive data coursing through these unsafe networks can be sniffed out. Always use your home or office network.
If you have no choice but to use unsafe connections, consider using a VPN. VPNs can be used as a security measure since they make it more difficult for anyone to see the kinds of information you are sending or receiving.
If your emails are data-sensitive, you can also opt to use end-to-end encryption. Businesses that deal with highly classified information use this daily, on top of using a VPN.
Use email forwarding.
You can opt not to use the same email address to create all your accounts. Most mailing platforms allow you to use email aliases or alternate email addresses that automatically forward received mail to a “main email address”.
Using a different email address per application is a great way to decentralize your information. This way, if one of your aliases gets compromised, not all your accounts will be affected, and you will still have a high likelihood of regaining your hacked email alias.
Install antivirus software such as Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
Let’s face it: we’re only human. We can’t expect to remain vigilant all the time. In fact, we are bound to have days when we get caught off guard by well-crafted scams.
For malware and other viruses that manage to make it past your extra precautions, vigilance, passwords, and TFA, your antivirus software will be your catch-all— your last stand.
Your antivirus software will not only help you detect malware within your system, but it will also help you remove it and repair what was damaged.
On this note, it is still good practice to keep your computer backed up regularly.
Keep your browser updated.
Your browser is also one of your silent protectors, as it also comes with code that blocks out suspicious activity.
Some viruses happen to exploit unfixed bugs of previous versions of your browser— and of other software in general— in order to inject malicious code into your computer or network. This is why it’s always important to keep your software as updated as possible to the latest versions.
Contact us at MSG to discuss how we can assist your business in enjoying the benefits of our password security service so that your email and other accounts can remain protected and secure.