One of the best places for hackers to start when trying to access information and data is your inbox.
Here are 10 tips to help keep your email account secure as possible:
- Understand cybercrime – Make sure you are aware of how you/your business could be targeted by those committing cybercrimes.
- Use a strong password – Strong passwords are key when it comes to email accounts. Don’t use the same password you’ve used for other important accounts, don’t make it easy to guess (e.g. place of birth, pet’s name, etc), make your password over 8 characters with lowercase and uppercase letters and numbers.
- Control who has your email address – Be careful about who you give your email address to. The more newsletters and websites you sign up to, the more public your email address is. Limit it to only people/companies you really want to contact you.
- Know what you’re opening – If an email looks suspicious or like it could be spam, don’t open it. Hackers are getting increasingly good at making fake emails look authentic so be wary of what you’re opening.
- Be wary of public connections/wi-fi – Public computers, wi-fi and internet hotspots are unsecured and therefore easy places for hackers to do their work. Avoid using public connections/computers for any confidential or sensitive work.
- Restrict what you put online – Whilst it’s not possible to protect every bit of your personal info online, you should still be careful about what information you do share. Social media has made it incredibly easy for potential hackers to do a quick search and find information such as your pet’s name or your mother’s maiden name. They can now answer your account security questions.
- Back up your information regularly – Ransomware attacks that steal your data, encrypt it and then demand a ransom fee for its return are becoming increasingly more common. If you back your data up regularly, you reduce the risk of losing everything to encryption and you won’t have to pay to get it back.
- Stay safe on mobile – Whilst not as common as desktops, mobile devices are still susceptible to hacking. Be wary of what links you click on/open, what apps you download and what information you give out.
- Be careful when opening attachments – Only open attachments in email if you know the person who’s sent them, you trust the person who’s sent them and where they’ve come from, and you know what they are/what they contain.
- Be careful when opening links – If you don’t know where a link goes or you don’t trust the sender, don’t open it. It is very easy for hackers to disguise malicious links, meaning you think it’s safe to click but in fact it could take you to a harmful website or start downloading malicious data onto your device.