Email is one of the fastest ways to exchange messages on the Internet. People use it every day, both for personal correspondence and for solving professional problems. But if unknown letters and spam start constantly coming to your email inbox, you should change your email management strategy if you do not want to get into trouble. The reason for this is that your account could have been hacked. To maintain your account privacy and stay safe from phishing, viruses, and malware, there are a few simple rules to follow when using email:
- Use separate email accounts. At first glance, one mailbox should be enough for registration on various sites, receiving notifications, mass mailings, business correspondence, etc. In reality, this thinking is wrong. The large number of emails that the user receives on a daily basis actually makes email management more complex. It is much more difficult to find the desired letter if the mailbox is overloaded. And using one account for personal and business correspondence increases the risk of sending a highly personal letter to your business partner, or vice versa. This is why it is ideal to have multiple accounts for different purposes. This will help not only improve the security of your account, but also its performance. Use one account to integrate with social networks and other online accounts, the second one for chatting with friends, and the third one for business correspondence only.
- Never click on links in messages. Whenever there is a link in an incoming email letter, do not click on it. The only exception may be the fact of waiting for registration on a forum or a message about the activation of the account. The same applies to spam. Never follow these links – you don’t know where they will lead and what harmful files may appear on your device. If you receive messages from a bank or any other service requesting payment, you should go to the website not by using the link provided, but by typing the address manually in the search bar of your Internet browser. It is also recommended to unsubscribe from all unwanted newsletters and mailings to reduce the number of junk you are receiving to your mailbox.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN). To keep your computer and personal information safe, the best thing you can do is download a VPN. Virtual private network encryption protocols guarantee anonymity and confidentiality on the Internet, protect email from hacking and information theft. Since VPNs provide IP masking, it is almost impossible to trace user activity on the Internet.
- Do not neglect password security. Having multiple accounts is useless if they share the same password. If one of the accounts is hacked, it will not be difficult for the hackers to steal information from others. So, each mailbox should have its own unique password. To come up with a really strong password, you need to avoid using words from a dictionary or anything that has to do with your personal data. Instead, you should create a long string of random letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s impossible to keep all your passwords in the head, that is why the best way to remember them is to use a password manager.
- Beware of phishing. Phishing is a type of cybercrime where scammers contact email users on behalf of well-known websites, such as Amazon, Ebay, etc. Under the pretext of problems with accounts and authentication, they ask you to send your personal information, payment details, credit card information, passwords. Never open phishing emails and never reply to them. If you opened a message and have some doubts, take a close look at the source and make sure it is legal before doing anything.
While there are still a lot of cases when you need to send a secure message, try to use other options for communication that are harder to be hacked such as conference calls, audio messengers, or apps for private encrypted conversations.