Email communications supplanted snail mail years ago, and its use continues to grow at a rate of knots. Like any other online communication channel, there are security concerns to bear in mind when it comes to transmitting data via email. Webmail is now the go-to option for billions of people around the world, owing to its convenience, cost effectiveness, and instant communication. In the days of old, Hotmail was all the rage much like Gmail or Yahoo Mail is today. Hotmail was perceived as somewhat spammy and unprofessional, but webmail services have shed that image and are widely used and accepted today.
The widespread adoption of cloud technology in email messaging services has also diminished the stigma associated with free email accounts. There are significant risks when using email, particularly if cyber criminals are lurking. All it takes is a username and password on many email accounts to unlock a treasure trove of personal data. This includes all your personal and business communications, passwords to all your online accounts, and a virtual diary into your life. This presents serious challenges to online security consultants.
What Options Are Available for Protecting Your Email from Prying Eyes?
The Internet is a dynamic medium. It is continually evolving and transforming into a more secure alternate universe. To this end, there are several options available to protect your username/password combination for your email account. One of them is 2-factor authentication. Most of us already use 2-factor authentication with our bank accounts and our Gmail accounts.
Simply put, you may be required to validate your identity via your smartphone and your email account username/password. Once you enter the correct codes that are sent to you by Gmail, you will be able to access your email account. This is a great way to stay safe, especially if you have tablets, phablets, or smartphones and you are using your devices from different locations. Two Factor Authentication is an effective way to secure your email even if somebody manages to get your password.
Are Browsers Safe for Storing Email Passwords?
Despite the advances in online security, most people use their browsers – Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Explorer etc. – to store all their passwords. This is a big no-no. If you use the automatic password protection with your browser, try and use a master password to protect all of those passwords as well. An even better protection mechanism to use is a password manager. A password manager is an encrypted program that automatically generates the most powerful passwords using a combination of alphanumeric symbols that nobody could possibly guess. A password manager is also protected by a master password – so be sure to keep it safe. The best place to keep a master password is in a personal diary, or in a locked closet on the wall.
What Other Protection Mechanisms Are There for Email?
One of the foremost authorities on Internet security is an aggregator platform known as Best Online Reviews. This site provides detailed reviews of security tools that you can employ to beef up your online security. Two options that are worthy of mention include VPNs and antivirus software. Whenever you are connected to the Internet, especially public Wi-Fi networks you want to be extra cautious. A VPN (virtual private network) is a powerful cloaking mechanism that hides your online activity from prying eyes. Your computer is connected through a server which does not reveal your identity to the sites you are browsing. In other words, all your traffic is being rerouted through another server and not through your IP address. The best VPN services do not maintain any logs, or share your browsing activity with the authorities, or marketing companies.
Antivirus software is sacrosanct when it comes to protecting your email transmissions. Antivirus software guards against phishing, pharming, malware, Trojans, viruses, hackers, and worms. VPNs and antivirus software are available for free, but these products are typically sorely lacking in security. It is best to pay for a high quality service and enjoy peace of mind. When you use a combination of password protection, VPN/proxy servers, and strong antivirus software, your email communications will always be ironclad.