March 13, 2012

Email Security & Internet Risks

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For hackers, it's very easy to find loopholes in internet connection, and be able to retrieve private information from your email account, browser history, and computer settings. It's important to maintain security of all these features to ensure your private information isn't revealed to the public.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get started with being safe with the internet, and protecting your emails:

  • Use a very strong and secure password. When a site is asking you to use various characters in your password, such as !@#$%, or including upper and lowercase letters, take this advice to your advantage. Create strong passwords that will cause a hacker to give up in trying to guess your exact password, such as "iKnowTh1sWilLb3reA11yH4rdt0h4cK." Ok, maybe not that strong and hard to remember, but you get the point. In addition, be sure to change your password every once in awhile.

  • Secure web browsing. It's important to make sure that when you're checking your e-mail on public computers at a library, coffee shop, etc., you should make sure your e-mail account is opening with a secure web server. Make sure the URL is "https" to ensure encrypted communication and secure identification. You can check your e-mail settings based on your email client to ensure security.

  • Be careful over public wi-fi. When using public internet connections, avoid making online transactions, as you never know when a hacker is lurking to steal your credit card information. Avoid any personal internet use when using public wi-fi, as it is very easy to be watched online through an open and insecure connection.

  • Do not share your login information. Obviously, your login information details should be kept somewhere private and safe. As much as you would like to trust that people are good, you never know when a trusted friend will share your information, orrather, take advantage of having your secure details.

  • Only open e-mails from people you know. Be sure to differentiate your emails between people you know and people who are fabricating their name, and resulting in a virus on your computer. It's important to watch out for spammers. Add filters to your email account to ensure that the proper spam is going straight to either the Spam folder or to the Trash, although most email clients do this automatically.

  • Make sure your computer is updated. Anti-virus software, browsers, and operating systems should be maintained and regularly updated. Keeping in check with your computer will help strengthen internet security, and reduce the risk of your email account being hacked.

Stay safe with your email!