Email Security

Everyone that uses the Internet in this day in age has an email address. Having an email address is just as important as having a phone, it's what you use to connect to services online. So, how cautious are you being when you read yours? Here are some tips so you can use your email more wisely and avoid any problems:

  1. Beware of Phishing Scams
    • Malicious users will imitate high-profile websites (e.g., PayPal, Amazon, Fifth Third, etc.) and say something along the lines of "Something is wrong with your account, please send us your information to verify authenticity." Be wary
  2. Separate your Email Accounts
    • Keep several active email accounts open that you use for different purposes. This can include one or more personal email accounts that you use to email friends and family, a business email account, and some throwaway accounts that won't cause a problem for you if they get hacked or suspended.
  3. Never Share your Private Information
    • This includes logging into accounts using untrusted computers, giving a password to a technical support representative, or responding to an email that asks for you to confirm your account details.
  4. Scan All Attachments Before Downloading/Opening Them
    • This includes unexpected email attachments from people you know. Viruses and spyware easily spread through email attachments by emailing themselves to email addresses listed in contact lists and address books.
  5. Do Not Use Shared Computers
    • If you must login to a shared or public computer only login to your throwaway email accounts, never an account that is important to you. When you are done on the shared computer clear the recent browsing history including cookies, cache, form history, and passwords.
  6. Make Use of BCC
    • If you need to email multiple people consider using BCC to copy them in. To avoid the issue in #4, you can prevent the spread of known good email addresses by not giving third parties access to your contact list by using BCC. BCC will Blind Carbon Copy a user, so that other recipients of the message will not be able to see who else received it.
  7. Create a Strong Email Password
    • Never use simple or easy to guess passwords. For more tips on creating a strong password, follow this link!
  8. Use a Secure Connection when Using the Internet
    • Using a wired connection at your house is good, and even the wired connection at your work place should be good. Avoid using wireless connections, especially open-public ones. 
  9. Don't Click the Links
    • Whenever you see a link in an email, a majority of the time you should not click on it. Especially if you receive a phishing or scam email, do not click on any link whatsoever. Whenever you get an email from your bank or any other service, visit their site manually rather than clicking a link or copy/pasting.
  10. Use Secure Connections
    • Avoid using public Wi-Fi. Although it may be tempting to check your device for new messages, public Wi-Fi can be extremely insecure. You never know who might be watching your Internet activity and gathering data when you're on public Wi-Fi!