In 2016, the race for the American President saw a popular candidate suffer an unexpected defeat. Hillary Clinton, who was expected to be the 45th president of the United States, lost because of a strange controversy.
The controversy involved her using a private email server during her tenure as the Secretary of State. As expected, the American people were enraged that a government official was using unlawful means to withhold information from them.
However, if this controversy is analyzed through an unbiased perspective, one might consider the fact that Hillary Clinton had her reasons. After all, being the Secretary of State, it was vital for her to keep enemy states away from confidential information.
The scandal was dubbed as the ‘email controversy’ but in actuality, it was an ‘email security controversy.
Quick Tips for Ensuring Email Security
Email security is an issue that is often provided less attention than it deserves. Organizations, institutions and even individuals in personal capacity use emails to share sensitive information.
Protecting this information is utmost important. This is because if the right information gets in the wrong hands, it can be used to blackmail, manipulate or even humiliate someone.
Hence, you should make no compromises in ensuring that your emails remain safe and secure. Below, we have laid out several methods you can apply to keep your emails away from malicious individuals.
Create Different Passwords
Passwords are the backbone of your online privacy. By creating strong passwords you eliminate the immediate threat of a hacker gaining access to your personal information.
However, even if you have created the strongest password in the word, do not use it for all your online accounts. If you have a single password for everything, you are walking into a trap.
Imagine the nightmare if you lose this password. Everything from your Facebook profile to your Amazon account will be at risk.
If you have a hard time remembering multiple passwords, you can avail the services of a password manager. In any case, avoid this rookie mistake.
Be Careful on Public Wi-Fis
Public Wi-Fi can be detrimental to your online security. This is because they are filled with nefarious threats. Hackers lurk on these Wi-Fi networks to get their hands on your sensitive information. This includes the password of your email.
With the program called ‘network sniffers’, the hackers can monitor traffic on a particular network and examine it for important information. However, there is a way for you to escape their watchful eye.
By employing a VPN, you can encrypt your online traffic and keep hackers at bay. A top VPN anonymizes your online profile making it difficult for hackers to monitor your connection.
Avoid Phishing Traps
Phishing is a popular hacking method in which the hacker disguises as a trusted entity, person or an organization to steal your password. It is the oldest form of cyberattacking that originated in the 1990s.
What happens in this attack is that you receive an email or an instant message that directs you to a fake website. The website is a spoof, meaning that it is copy of a legitimate site.
On this website, you will be required to provide your email and password. From there, you can guess what happens next. There are also more direct methods to phishing.
Sometimes you will receive a message from a certain website, asking for your login credentials to ‘fix’ a certain issue. Of course, this will be an imitation of the real website and your credentials will end up with the hackers.
Phishing scams can be somewhat difficult to recognize but there share few common things:
- Request for your personal information
- Threats to shut down your account
- Bad grammar
- Made up URL
By looking out for above signs, you can avoid phishing and keep your email secure.
Create Multiple Email Accounts
Just like keeping a single password for all account is problematic, using a single email for all online purposes is risky. The reason for having multiple emails is the same reason you should have multiple password.
If a hacker succeeds in breaking into your ‘one-for-all’ email account, he/she will have a field day with your online profiles.
Hence, create separate accounts for work, your personal activities and one for different website you use.
Scan Your Device for Viruses and Malware
To keep your device free from malwares and viruses, run frequent scans through capable anti-virus programs. The good news is that most anti-virus programs perform this function for you.
However, if you believe that you received a suspicious mail, scan your computer just to stay on the safe side. You can never be too careful with your online security.
As many real life examples have shown, one cannot take email security lightly. You can suffer both personal and financial loss by being careless in your emailing activities.
This is why it preferable that you take all the necessary precautions to keep your emails safe and secure.