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Despite the emergence of countless digital communication channels, especially social media networks, the significance of email has not died down. That, and the fact that usage of email keeps growing on a daily basis, even going so far as to be a necessary requirement when creating most online accounts, goes to show just how important email is. However, just as its significance and usage increases, so too do the threats that plaque it, especially with regard to cybersecurity. Imagine what a devastating blow it would be if all the information contained in your email was exposed, including sensitive information such as the login credentials to various websites and your financial information. Since email security is paramount, we aim to explore various ways to improve it.
Employ the use of SSL/TLS
One of the most significant security threats to email is man-in-the-middle attacks, where hackers intercept your emails. The risk increases exponentially when the hackers decide to hack the individual instead of the system and send you emails. The best way to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks of this nature is to make use of SSS/TLS, both of which are encryption protocols that protect the information shared between the computer and a server as well as between two or more servers. SSL/TLS encryption prevents the emails from being intercepted while in transit between the various servers and systems.
Encrypt your email
Although SSL/TLS encryption protects your emails from interception, it does not protect the email messages directly. Therefore, it is important to have that extra layer of security by encrypting your email. This guarantees that even if the email is intercepted, it still remains secure without exposing the information contained within. While there are plenty of plugins and email encryption software out there, we recommend using OpenPGP
, otherwise known as GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). The software encrypts your email in a way that guarantees that only the sender and the recipient can access it. Both the sender and the recipient have access to a keypair – both public and private. The public key is interchangeable and responsible for the encryption, while the private key is always fixed and is responsible for decrypting the emails.
Exercise caution when opening emails
Hackers have a tendency of using emails to send malware through emails. Often, they do this by sending email attachments and links with messages that appeal to your interests. For instance, you could receive an email about a free holiday urging you to click on a link to find out more. Therefore, you should treat all suspicious emails with caution, particularly when dealing with spam. As long as you don’t know the sender of the email, you should be cautious about opening it. Nevertheless, hackers aren’t the only threat you should be concerned about when using your email. Companies have a tendency to send tracking links to monitor the click and open rate of their emails. Compared to the malware issue, this might not sound like much of a problem. However, these tracking links compromise your privacy and expose your habits, which is just as much of a problem as hacking.
Make use of multiple email accounts
As mentioned before, there’s an increase in the significance and usage of email. As such, it is not uncommon to find people using a single email account for various purposes. Unfortunately, that is much like putting all your eggs in one basket and increases the risk of being compromised. Therefore, we advise making use of multiple email accounts for different purposes. For instance, you can split your accounts to handle banking/finances, work/business, and social media. Doing this reduces the risk of exposure and increases the chances of you detecting when something is out of order. For instance, when you receive non-financial information to your financial email account, you can tell that it is suspicious and take appropriate measures.
While the methods listed in this article may not be the only way to improve email security, they are some of the most important, especially when it comes to encryption. Nevertheless, you should make sure to read more about improving email security and employ as many methods as possible to guarantee better protection of your email accounts.