There has never been a better time to start making your email accounts safer. In recent weeks the news has been full of reports of data breaches, of hackers breaking through security and gaining access to sensitive data. 100 million LinkedIn users accounts have been compromised, 500 million Yahoo accounts have been stolen, ClixSense have had 6 million plain-text passwords leaked and Natwest has owned up to an embarrassing lapse in the security of their online accounts.
Email accounts are one of the most common and easiest targets used by hackers to gain access into your personal life, think of your own email inbox… it contains all sorts of personal, sensitive data from social media logins to bank or credit card details that in the wrong hands could leave you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
So what can you do to make your email account safer? Follow our quick and simple 6 tips to making your email safer.
Be aware of threats
By arming yourself with the knowledge of what to look out for, being aware of potential threats such as phishing scams, malicious spam, not clicking links or opening unknown attachments, can help you identify problems before they actually happen.
Use a reliable email provider
The priority for making your email accounts safer should be your password choice. Make sure your password is unique to your email account and never use the same password twice. The more complex the password the better See our password tips
2 Factor Authentication
Most accounts now offer the option of 2 factor authentication…use it! It offers a second layer of protection to your account. This could be in the form of simply answering several security questions or entering a memorable date for example.
Protect your device
Ensure your anti-virus and malware software is up to date. If you haven’t got any at at all… then get one fast! There is some great free downloadable software such as Avast, Avira, Malwarebytes. It is worth noting that if you haven’t protected your device and someone does manage to get access to your passwords to your accounts and uses them to withdraw money or make purchases it may be harder to get your money back.
Beware of public / free Wi-Fi Hot spots
Don’t login into sensitive accounts such as emails, bank or credit card accounts on open networks. Hackers can potentially track what websites you have visited and use key-logging software to record your login details.
Below you will find a handy printable version for quick reference for making your email accounts safer.