For most of us, we check our emails as soon as we wake up. Our email account is a virtual home, an operation base, somewhere we base ourselves to access information affecting all aspects of our lives. Setting up social media accounts, personal and professional correspondences all require our email account.
As the nexus for our different accounts elsewhere, it should not come as a surprise that hackers consistently target our personal email accounts. There are innumerable hacking threats, and we must secure our email accounts to deny perpetrators access to this valuable mine of personal information. This article will look at several methods you can use to secure your email accounts.
A Strong, Unique Password
This might sound extremely obvious and simple, but it is one of the most effective methods to beef up your email’s security. Many of us are probably guilty of reusing passwords for our different email and social media accounts or using simple passwords. Passwords like “password1”, or “lastpass” are easy prey for password cracking programs or hackers. Your birthday, company name, or phone number can be easily guessed.
The strongest passwords are those that consist of a random set of numbers, characters and letters, making your password virtually guess-proof. Hackers will have to resort to password hacking software. A strong unique password presents seemingly infinite password combinations, and even advanced software will need at least 200 to 700 years to derive the correct password.
Two-Factor authorisation is another huge step you can take to protect your email account. Otherwise known as 2FA, it is one of the strongest defences you can establish against malicious hackers.
2FA demands two pieces of information to log in to your email account. Your username and password counts as a single factor, while the second factor usually comes as a one time password sent to your handphone. Only when both factors are verified can you login to your email account. Outlook’s two-factor authentication will keep your account safe even if a hacker manages to successfully figure out your password.
This makes it infinitely harder for hackers to gain access to your account, as they now must correctly handle both authentication factors. Not only will they need to correctly guess your password, hackers will still need to hack their way into your protected handphone to intercept your one-time password.
Looking Out for Phishing Emails
Having the most complicated password in place will count for nothing if you fall prey to phishing scams. Phishing emails aim to trick people into handing over their account details. This usually done by linking victims to fake websites that ask for personal information. Once entered, the fake website stores the information, passing it back to the hacker to gain access to the victim’s email account.
Phishing is not a new or ground-breaking hacking method. However, it requires our attention to avoid falling prey to these increasingly convincing and sophisticated scams.
As a conclusion, these are some of the most effective ways to secure our email accounts from hackers. While hackers will undoubtedly come up with new approaches and schemes, the steps covered above will provide a firm foundation to secure your email account from unwanted access.