Email is the gateway to your online footprint, and keeping it safe is essential to protect your personal data — we all know that. But how do you make your email secure? Do you have to be some kind of tech expert to secure your email?
Email security can be challenging to understand and implement. But there are a few quick things you can do right nowto make your email secure instantly. Let’s get into it.
1. Enable Two-factor Authentication
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) for your email is an easy yet effective method to improve your personal email security. It makes sure that even if someone somehow gets access to your password, your email account is still secure. The odds of breaching both authentication system is close to zero if the second step of verification is set up correctly. Pretty much all major email service providers now offer 2FA. However, make sure you set up a biometric or device-based second step of verification that cannot be easily accessed by anyone else.
2. Use Encrypted Email
Corporate data breaches have affected millions in the past and cost large sums of money in organisations. Regardless of how secure your personal email is, your data is still in danger. Cybercriminals can still conduct man-in-the-middle attacks when sending the email or attacking the recipient side. Email encryption is the best way to prevent data leaks.
End-to-end encryption with zero access makes sure even if an attacker accesses your email data, they will not be able to read it. Most secure email service providers offer standard SSL/TLS encryption. If your email service provider does not provide encryption services, you can use third-party encryption protocols to make your email secure.
3. Limit Your Email Address Visibility
Your email address in the wrong hand can create the biggest security threat. But the good news is, it only takes a few seconds to check and find out if your email is visible on the web. Go to Sniff email — an online platform dedicated to finding out if your email address exists on the internet. Enter your email address in the search field and click fetch to find out if your email address exists on the web within a few seconds. Based on the results, you can take appropriate action to remove it.
4. Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
Did you know that it is extremely unlikely for your email account to be hacked in today’s world? But how do these data breaches keep happening then? The major way cyber criminals gain access to your personal data is by phishing scams. Phishing is a type of cyberattack propagated mainly by email where an attacker impersonates a trusted source to lure individuals into sharing personal information. This stolen personal data then can result in financial loss or identity theft.
Phishing attacks can take many different forms. For example, the attacker might ask you to download a file or click on a link. They can also ask you to provide them with personal information by pretending to be someone from the bank or workplace. Either way, it is crucial to identify these emails. If you are in doubt, always contact the recipient and confirm the source before clicking on any links or attachments or replying to the email.
5. Never Access Your Email Using Public Network
The keyword in the public network is “public,” — and since it is public, any information you communicate using this channel becomes publicly accessible. Public Wi-Fi provides an easy route for cybercriminals to monitor your online activities and steal your personal data. They can gain access to your business credentials and sensitive data that they can use against you.
Public Wi-Fi is extremely vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where attackers impersonate legitimate public Wi-Fi services. They can also use the channel to distribute malware to connected devices. Additionally, if the channel is not encrypted, anyone connected to it can eavesdrop on your data packets.
6. Use Strong & Unique Password
This is probably the first lesson in cybersecurity 101, but it keeps somehow slipping everyone’s mind. We get it — you have 20 different accounts for different purposes, and it’s tiring to remember unique passwords for every single account. However, these repetitive and weak passwords can cost you in the long run. Attackers can target common and repetitive passwords to take down an entire network. This is why you should set a strong and unique password for all of your online accounts — especially for your email account.
So, what is a strong password? A strong password combines different techniques to increase the number of combinations. It does so by mixing uppercase, lowercase, symbols or punctuation marks, and numbers. The minimum length of a strong password is 12 characters. However, it is recommended to aim for higher characters. Not repeating passwords for multiple accounts also increase password security.
Email security is crucial to keep your personal data safe. Follow the six quick steps mentioned above to make your email secure and safe on the internet.