Email Safety and Security

Many people don’t think twice about what they send in an email.  Some of the issues can be chalked up to blind ignorance and others to just not caring.  But email safety and security should be taken seriously.

Last year a hacker was prosecuted for breaking into Sarah Palin’s email box.  Recently officials from the U.S. Government had their email accounts hacked.  Additionally there have been numerous accounts of women who had their email accounts hacked.  The perpetrator was looking for nude and erotic photos the woman may have sent to their spouses and boyfriends.   In a similar case earlier this year over three thousand woman’s email accounts were broken into for the same purposes.

There are many methods hackers or others with ill-intent use to break into email accounts.  If the person is know, they can watch over the shoulder as the email password is being typed in.  Keystroke loggers can be used.  Brute force and dictionary attacks can be attempted.  There are many methods which can be used to access a person’s email account.

So what can be done to make email safer?  The first rule of thumb should be to not send any pictures in compromising situations.  Imagine applying for a teaching position and a nude photo gets sent to the board of education.  This also holds true of making any statements which could come back and bite you.  The second precaution is to not use the same password for email as ones which are used for website accounts.  The password should also be fairly long and complex and changed regularly.

Email is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future.  Hackers and others who look to financial gain or retaliation for something they perceive as done to them, are not going away.  Therefore is up to us to try and keep our information safe.  I say try because if there’s a will, there’s a way.

This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.

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