- One of the most common methods of hacking the e-mail has been and remains phishing. And unfortunately attempts to gain access to personal data are not decreasing.
Phishing is a type of computer fraud, which uses social engineering principles to obtain confidential information from the victim. Scammers get in touch with the person and make him share his personal information. The ways how they are doing are changing permanently.
One of the popular scammers’ techniques is sending a potential victim messages on behalf of a well-known organization or entity. They c an be sent both by email or by other means: social networking, forums, mobile messages.
Such message usually contains a link (a fake page) that contains malicious software.
Why scammers attempt to hack personal e-mails
Attackers seek to steal personal data and get into the user’s e-mail in order to find the card/bank account, business information, as well as to get information for political scandals. Through e-mails a user usually recovers a password to the account in case if its loss or if someone has already managed to steal his account. Accordingly, an attacker who gains access to the mail, can collect a lot of information about the services you use. Therefore, in some cases, breaking the mailbox may actually mean breaking your entire digital life.
How to protect yourself
IT-specialists are convinced that most mail phishing attempts happen by stealing or guessing passwords. Below we have collected tips in order to help you to protect your account.
- Different passwords for each major service.Use different passwords for each account. If you have the same password since you registered on a website – there are more chances that it may already be in the list of stolen passwords. And the more accounts of yours have same password, the more data you can lose if this password is stolen. Creating a separate secure password for every account helps to protect you and your digital data.
- A long complicated password.«Password», «qwerty» and 123456 are examples of terrible passwords, because everyone knows them, including potential criminals. The longer the password, the harder it is to guess it for scammers and intruders. Do not use any popular phrases or text to build your password: research shows that people tend to use the same phrases, and you will definitely want a password known only to you. You can come up with a phrase known only to you, and link to a specific site in order to remember it in a better way. For example, for your e-mail take some phrase, like “My friend Mark every day sends me one funny letter”, and then play with it using numbers, symbols, and the first letters of each word – for example, “MfMedsm1fl”.
- Change passwords regularly.Services periodically break, your passwords are periodically become lost, and with this, personally, you can not do anything. If you want to register on a dating site, or in some dubious service, it is better to create a second (or even third or fourth) mailbox;
- Keep passwords in a safe place. Research shows that the main reason why people use the same password for multiple sites is the unwillingness to remember too many combinations. But do not worry – if you have created so many passwords that you find hard to remember, you can make a list and write them down. Just make sure that this list is in a safe place, you will not lose it while others can not find it. Also, many web browsers offer a built-in free password managers.
- Recovery options
Setting this option, for example, an alternative e-mail address or a phone number helps the service provider to find another way to contact you if your account is blocked. The user receives a code number registered in the system and can quickly return to your account.
- Use of two-factor authentication
Before using a webmail or social network account, make sure that you are using https secure protocol. Some default services can still use non-encrypted channel for data – it may be necessary to specifically enable it in the settings.
- Two-stage test
To ensure more reliable degree of protection, some services offer a two-step verification. This is another level of security – to enter, for example, a Google Account, you need not just a password, but also a verification code. Even if your password is hacked, guessed or kidnapped, an attacker can not sign in to your account without entering the verification code that Google support team sends to the mobile phone.
Protection mostly depends on the users themselves. The fact that information technology penetrates into all spheres of life makes a lot of processes better than ever before – but at the same time there are new risks.