So many people are still not taking routine precautions to protect their email accounts and hackers are exploiting that. There are reports of people in government who don’t take their own email security seriously. You can make yourself less of a target. There are a few simple and easy ways to help you protect your email account from hackers.
Many online break-ins take place because of people using the same password over many platforms, for example: You use the same password for your email, social media, financial and other accounts. Should any one of these services be hacked, every other account with the same password will be vulnerable.
Solve this problem by using a base password that you can remember. You can then add on letters and numbers that reference where you’re using it. So, should your base password be “Ilovereading2000” (which we can all agree isn’t very secure), you could make the password “IlovereadingE” for your email or “IlovereadingGE” if it’s a Google email account.
If you can’t be bothered to do more, this is a base level of security that can help shield you from the most obvious threats. Take note, it’s still only a baby step.
You can make things very hard for hackers by just making your base password stronger. The more complicated and longer your password, the harder it’ll be for hackers to guess. The downside is that it makes your password more difficult to remember. Fortunately, there are ways around that.
Never include your children’s names, birthdays or any other personal references to any other personal details. Hackers are constantly trolling Facebook, Twitter and other social media for clues to passwords like those. Obvious and default passwords like “password123” are also bad, as well as common words found in the dictionary. Hackers have programs that automate a hack by making use of dictionary words.
You can make your own strong password by adding random capitalised nonsense words interspersed with characters and numbers like, “1L0v3R3aDing!” As long as you’re making up the words by yourself, it will be more difficult for hackers or anyone to gain access to your account. Besides, it’s much easier to remember passwords like this than you might think, though you might want to practice them a few times first. This is a great way to protect your email account.
You can make this so much easier for yourself by just using a password manager service such as LastPass or Dashlane, which will keep track of multiple complex passwords for you and even generate amazingly long and difficult passwords for you. Most web browsers also have password managers to help you remember your password by logging in without you having to type out the password again.
Using a password manager is more secure and it makes life so much easier when you don’t have to remember every password you create.
The next line of defence against hackers is two- or multifactor authentication, which asks users to enter a second form of identification or to type in a number usually sent to you via text. This is now more common for email accounts and social media. This way, even if a hacker gets your password, he still needs your phone to access your account.
Once a hacker has access to your email account, all he needs to do is type “password” in the search option and all the emails you have with passwords will pop on the screen. The same can be said for “credit card” or “visa”. So delete old emails or download them onto a save device, never save a password on old emails.