As we increasingly use mobile devices, either iPhones or Android, for reading and sending emails, it is essential to pay attention to mobile email security.
Spam emails containing malware are the biggest threat to mobile email security. If your phone security is compromised, attackers can get access to the connected email account. Use best practices to keep your phone secured to protect your email account.
Let’s discuss 7 best practices to stay secure using smartphones for email.
1. Use End-to-End Email Encryption
With the alarming increase of phishing and spamming, end-to-end encryption is the only way to ensure true email security. Because this way, the content of your message is secure the entire path even if the attacker infiltrates the channel of communication. It also protects your data from email service providers.
Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) are two of the most popular long-standing end-to-end encryption protocol in use. OpenPGP, the open-source implementation of the PGP encryption protocol, is available for both Android and iOS.
2. Limit Your Email Address Visibility
If spammers have access to your email address, your mobile email security is already at risk. Spam emails are more dangerous for smartphones. A recent LinkedIn poll found that 71% of the participants use phones first thing in the morning to check for notifications missed overnight. When checking your phone with blurry eyes, you are more likely to miss the obvious signs of email spam and download or click on a link. This is why it’s essential to limit your email address visibility to improve email security.
To check your email address visibility, 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.
3. Keep Your Device Operating System (OS) Up-To-Date
The updates that you receive on your smartphone are not just to introduce new features and improve user experience but also to update the security framework. Keeping your OS up-to-date makes it difficult for attackers to breach the security firewall. These updates on Android or iOS protects the device from newly introduced threats. Next time your phone notifies you about an update, download and install it to protect your device rather than click on the “remind me later” option.
4. Use Secure Wi-Fi
Smartphones allow us to connect to the web anywhere and everywhere. However, it is also the biggest threat. The danger to free Wi-Fi security is the ability for the hacker to position him/herself between you and the connection point. It enables the hacker to access every piece of information you are sending out to the Internet, including email account credentials, email content, and other personal data.
To stay safe while using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN. The end-to-end data encryption will help prevent the hacker from reading your data even if they can access it. If VPN isn’t an option for you, use SSL connections to add a layer of encryption to your communication.
5. Download Apps from Verified App Stores
Cyber criminals use rogue mobile apps to mimic known brands to install malware on smartphones through which they can access your personal data. When downloading an app, always use the official app store. Before you download, pay attention to the developer name. Also, check the user reviews before downloading. It will help you avoid traps laid out by attackers.
6. Install Anti-Virus Software
You probably already use anti-virus on your computer. Why not add the same protection to your mobile phone as well? If you use your smartphone to log in to your email address, personal bank accounts, or to share sensitive personal data, you should use robust anti-virus software on your device.
Some anti-virus software for Android or iPhone comes with a VPN as a bonus. Most of the time, users remain unaware that their devices have spyware or malware that only anti-virus software can detect. Additionally, anti-virus blocks malicious websites or downloads without permission and alerts you of hacked accounts.
7. Encrypt Your Data
Your smartphone contains a lot of data that can threaten the security of your emails, contacts, financial information, and more if it falls into the wrong hands. Encrypt all of your data to prevent future security risks.
Most smartphones have encryption settings in the security menu. To check the encryption status of your iOS device, go to settings and then click on “Touch ID & Passcode.” Enter your lock screen code and scroll to the bottom of the page where it should say, “Data Protection is enabled.”
To encrypt an Android, make sure your device has at least 80% charge and unroot it before continuing. After that, go to “Security” and choose “Encrypt Phone.” If your phone runs out of charge, unroot it or interrupt the encryption process, you may lose all your data. Encryption can take over an hour.
The cybersecurity threat on all devices is increasing, and your mobile email security is an integral part of it. Follow the steps in this article to improve email security across all of your devices.