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Email security

How my friend’s email account was hacked

You may not pay much attention to your email account nowadays as there are multiple ways to communicate. But remember for a hacker it’s a goldmine of personal and valuable information.

Your email inbox is full of valuable information from password reset to login id, sharing sensitive documents to storing personal information like Tax returns, latest shopping orders

It takes very little effort for a hacker to breach your email account, go into the settings, change your password and finally lock you out of your own Email accounts once a hacker is in control of one of your accounts, they can easily access linked accounts by entering the same password for the other accounts.

There are multiple ways a hacker can get into your email account

  1. You fall for a Phishing Scam
  2. You forget to log out of your account
  3. You use simple password or reused it 
  4. You don’t  keep your software updated
  5.  You connect to  Free Wifi

A similar incident happened to a friend of mine and here’s how she got hacked.

A few months ago my friend’s kids were buying something online and that’s when her email and passwords were compromised. This happened because her kid had unknowingly clicked on a phishing email. she came to know when she had received a password reset notification. She immediately changed her password but her email was hacked again. 

She tried to reach out to her email provider, but was not successful. In the end she had to delete her account permanently. Since the incident, my friend has felt vulnerable and is now paranoid that her others accounts will be hacked.

My friend’s story is just one of many. Every day a hacker tries to attack into our systems. To ensure that you never walk in her shoes, check out our top 10 security measures to prevent your accounts from getting hacked.

1. Use a password manager

Use a good password manager to create complex passwords and save all your online passwords in one vault. Hackers today use a tactic called credential stuffing, they can store previously stolen usernames and passwords into as many online services as possible. Why? Because a lot of usernames and passwords are identical across accounts.

2. Don’t click on suspicious links in emails or texts.

Cybercriminals often send malicious links via emails to trick victims into clicking on it to steal personal information. Always verify the sender’s name.

3. Avoid using public computer 

Public computers at cafes or hotels are accessible by many people, they may put keyloggers or other Malware on them, this can capture your data. If it’s not urgent avoid doing online banking or access other highly sensitive data on public devices. 

4. Get a strong antivirus and update regularly

Having Antivirus in place is always a good idea and acts as an additional layer of security; it provides real life protection from phishing attacks, malware and many more. 

5. Use a VPN on your computer and your phone

Encrypt your internet connection by using VPN and secure your personal information. 

6. Avoid opening emails using public WIFi

Don’t open your email when you are connected to public WIFI (Airport, coffee shops etc) Free WIFI may tempt you get connected but public WIFI can be extremely unsecure and is the easiest way for hackers to get in.

7. Use Multi Factor authentication

Set up two factor authentication to your email accounts. Many email providers offer this feature. This way you can keep an eye out on who is logging into your accounts.  

8. Watch out for grammatical mistakes 

The simplest way to spot  Phishing email is by checking for poor grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.  

9. Use separate email accounts

Avoid using same accounts for multiple usages like social media, online banking, online shopping and so on. There’s always a chance that someone might break into your account, and if you use the same account, you’ll lose access to everything.

10. Never click on unsubscribe link in spam emails

Many emails have a message asking you to unsubscribe from a newsletter or any company email communications. Hackers will place them in emails in an attempt to trick you. So avoid clicking on such malicious links. 

Following our safety precautions will definitely help you secure your inbox. Hackers are always lurking around your emails; if you don’t have Cybersecurity practices in place your identity can be stolen in minutes.

Start protecting your emails with these smart security practices.

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