Email Security: 7 Tips to Prevent Data Breaches, Leaks and Hacks

In this internet age, emails are everything. Coming to think of it, they are linked to almost everything, if not everything, that you do on or off the internet. Your smartphones (Android or iOS) require an email account to work, and the same is true for many desktop computer OS too. In fact, there is rarely any website you visit that you would not need your email as a form of ID when signing up. Looking at it that way, it is not difficult to see how important emails are, right? That is why you need to up your email security game. In this article we're going to talk how it is done.


1. Set strong passwords

This is logically the first place to start since passwords are the first keys to your account.
When setting up your email account, ensure you use the strongest password on them so that they are almost un-hackable. That way, it would take a hacker several years to crack the code behind your email address – and we don’t believe there is anyone hacker with such time on their hand.
To do this, we don’t recommend trusting your own ability to create strong passwords. Rather, go for online password generators (they are usually free) and use them to create very strong passwords. Store this password away (using password managers, most preferably) and never share them with anyone.
When you are done with that…

2. Enable two-factor authentication

Imagine someone got access to your password after all you have done to make sure it is secure. What is the next line of defense?
Well, a little something called two-factor authentication.
This ensures a hacker does not have access to your account even if they had your password. Depending on the email service you are using, the 2FA can come in different forms – a one-time password sent to a linked email, PIN sent to a linked phone number, etc.
While no two 2Fas are the same, they provide an extra layer of security nonetheless.

3. Disable image loading

Many advertising agencies have a habit of tracking the engagement of their emails by estimating the number of recipients who opened it. To know who opened the emails, they will usually embed a picture in the email which, when loaded, informs the agency of your having opened the said mail.
This can be used to track you since it reveals to the admins of that mailing list just who opened their message. Fortunately, you can turn off the option by configuring your email provider not to load images by default. 
Depending on what service handles your internet mailing, head over to settings and look around for this option.

4. Be wary of attachments

Attachments in emails are usually a very risky thing – especially when they are coming from senders who you don’t have in your contact list.
While some of them are not harmful, a large percentage of them could be used to perpetrate phishing attacks. In other cases, these attachments could be used as trojans to introduce malware into your computer without even knowing it at all.
We recommend using your email provider’s in-built malware scanners on attachments before you open them. Even at that, it doesn’t hurt to have an antivirus scanner of your own to run through the file before you download it at all.
Finally, it is also better to use the in-built, document-opening functionality of your email provider before downloading the file at all. That way, you might not even have to download it – and you don’t run the risk of putting your email account at risk either.

5. Don’t share passwords

We should probably let you know that no legitimate organization will ask for your email password. Should you visit a website, app or platform which asks for your email information, run!

6. Use TLS… Always

TLS – which is short for Transport Layer Security – ensures any connection you have with a website or server is encrypted. Besides, it also verifies the integrity of the server you are connecting to, helping to inform you of the status of your communications.
Finally, the encryption abilities of this protocol mean you get highly secure communications.
If you are interested – as you should be – here is a guide to walk you through setting it up for yourself.

7. Review connections

We recommend looking at your account data to see not only the apps your email is connected to, but the devices too. If you see any strange unit or app on the list, it is best to remove them rather than contemplate when you must have linked up to them.
The worst that could happen is that you are asked to authenticate your account again when next you are trying to get into the app/ website.




Article Provided by :


Brad @TurnOnVPN 
Brad Smith is a technology expert at TurnOnVPN, a non-profit promoting a safe, secure, and censor-free internet. He writes about his dream for a free internet and unravels the horror behind big techs.

Organization:
#TurnOnVPN is a non-profit organization focusing on a free and unimpeded internet for all. We take part in numerous online events, aimed at promoting a safe, secure, and censor-free Internet. Learn more at www.turnonvpn.org/blog/.

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