Tips for Preventing Your Email from Being Hacked

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Tips for Preventing Your Email from Being Hacked

Usually, people do not recognize how vulnerable their email is to being hacked until it actually happens to them. Before dealing with this problem, people may believe that even if it did, there is really nothing of value in the words contained in the emails that are saved.

However, many of us use our email addresses to communicate to the outside world including through social networks, bank accounts and financial institutions. The amount of information that can be harvested could be devastating to the individual if stolen by someone who gains unauthorized access.

The Biggest Problem

Businesses often go to great lengths and spend huge amounts of money attempting to protect the information stored in their computer systems. However, the weakest links in the entire system are the passwords used by their employees. They understand that the entire security of the company rests solely in the cryptic strength of the passwords they use.

For the individual, many consider something as simple as “12345” or even “password” as good enough for maintaining security on an email account. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Even a password as simple as “LogMeIn” would take a hacker just a matter of minutes to break.

Tips for Developing a Better Password

As the first line of defense, it is important to create a better password, and one that is more cryptic and challenging to decipher. Instead of using a simple set of reminders such as family member names, birth dates, or other relevant information, try to mix things up. The password “ILoveMoney” could be transformed using characters and numbers to read “!luv3$”. While not perfect, it would certainly slow down a hacker.

A stronger more secure password could be harvested from information of a long phrase. The phrase “I love to go shopping with my mom Patricia on Saturdays” could form a new password by taking the first letter of each word to create “IltgswmmPoS”. It has no logical sense to anyone else except the individual that created it. In addition, it is an easy phrase to remember for the user.

Heavy Duty Layers of Security

Governments and companies have always used a heavy-duty layer of security to safeguard crucial data, over and above a traditional password. Recognized as two-factor authentication, it involves an additional layer over and above a traditional username/password combination.

Imagine showing up to the door of a secret club where you will have to speak the password through the door. If the password is correct, the guard at the door will open it but will not allow access into the club without recognizing the individual attempting to get in. This is two-factor authentication. Recognizing the individual is the additional layer of security.

Single factor authentication, or the standard username/password combination, provides only one form of identification. Alternatively, two-factor authenticating makes it more challenging to gain access. It can be based on something that the user has, or would be the only one that would know some type of information.

As something the user has, gaining access through two-factor authentication might be as simple as a fingerprint or retina scan. It might be a swipe card, key card, or token that generates passwords randomly. Whatever form is used is unique to the user, and unattainable by any outside hacker.

When based on something that only the user would know, it could be information as simple as the answer to a very specific question that could not publicly be known. This additional two-step verification process nullifies the efforts of a hacker that has been able to figure out the username/password combination.

These effective tips can prevent your email from being hacked, which could save time, trouble and frustration if the event would ever happened.  If you have tried these suggestions and are still having issues with your email being hacked or exploited, click here to learn more about our Computer Security Services.