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Securing your email may seem hard, but today with the creation of private email, it is easier than ever to protect yourself and your data. Just this year, a whopping 773 million emails and millions of passwords from users with @msn.com and @hotmail.com account were leaked. Microsoft sent out an email explaining that:
“malicious hackers were potentially able to access an affected user’s e-mail address, folder names, the subject lines of e-mails, and the names of other e-mail addresses the user communicates with”
Their suggestion is to change a password. Changing a lock on the door may make you feel safer, but it doesn’t mean you will never get robbed. Private emails, on the other hand, render you invisible. Here is a guide to understanding how your emails can be protected.
How can cyber-criminals attack you through email?
Much like our home address, a lot of us think of our email address and contents as a safe space. After all, it’s your personal account with your made-up password, you should be okay, right? Wrong. Here are two common ways you and your computer can get hacked through email:
- Malware delivery – These sneaky attacks work on the principle that people act before they think. A message may appear that tells you your account has been hacked and download immediately before your computer crashes. These tend to be overly scary and urgent. Big warning signs. Once you click or engage with these messages in any way malicious software takes over your computer.
- Phishing scams-There are many different types of phishing attacks such as Clone Phishing. This is when a legit email you got before has its content and recipient addresses hacked. Then the content is cloned. Might appear as if your bank, TV subscription, or medical service need you to verify details.
How can you protect yourself?
Protecting yourself seems nearly impossible when you consider that everyone from businesses to Hillary Clinton can be vulnerable to email attacks. They are the number 1 way people are being hacked after all. The rule of thumb is typically to take these steps:
- Change your passwords – About 84% of all people reuse their passwords, It’s easy and saves time. It also means that every account you have ever created can now be hacked. To strengthen your password be sure to make it very long and unique for each account, mixing in symbols and cases.
- Look out for tell-tale signs of malware or phishing attack. They usually have poor spelling and grammar, are vague, include strange attachments and links, and have misspelled or unusual return addresses.
These are good tactics and should be used always. Unfortunately, many of us will continue to use the same passwords and won’t take the time to notice spelling mistakes and return addresses. That’s where private email comes in to play.
What is Private Email and Why Does it Work?
A private email server is the email system that is provided by a private server. There are many ways to get a private email, but private email providers are the easiest. Choosing the right private email provider can be tricky, so use this checklist to pick what you need:
- Cost – Free private email providers
- Two-factor authentication – something you know with something you have is a great combo, like a debit card. Make sure your email server has this setup.
- Limit Forwarding – this is such a common practice, most of us don’t think twice. Left to a corporate server or non-private email provider, this means anything from your private health info can be released with one click of the forward button.
- Email Encryption – Free private email providers will encrypt your messages so hackers can only see a jumbled up message.
- Industry Unique Privacy Controls – This gives you full sender-control for your emails on the cloud and recipients’ devices. This means you can recall any message and it will vanish!
- Message Storing – Private Email Providers like EPRIVO, for example, can actually privatize and encrypt your existing email account without storing emails. This provides a healthy separation between security provider and email storage provider.
According to statistics, at some point, everyone’s email will and can be hacked. By understanding what hackers are looking for, how they operate, and how you can protect yourself you can avoid these financial and emotional cyber attacks.
Using a free private email provider so you have private email is the #1 way to protect yourself. Make sure to do your research and choose a private email provider that offers more than just encryption.