With the increase in global web activity, securing one’s digital identity has become a cause of concern now days. Degree of the concern is of quite serious, if not alarming. The spheres of e-mails and other modes of online communications are highly vulnerable to the risks of interception. Hackers are continuously finding new ways of accessing your private data thereby pushing you towards changing your safety measures every now and then. The process is really cumbersome and requires continuous engagement. However, if you can follow certain homemade security tips, you will be able to prevent hackers, up to certain extent, from accessing your e-mail accounts. For your easy reference, 10 such tips are listed bellow. You may add more tips to the list.
1. Design a strong alphanumeric password. This is most important towards erecting a security wall around your e-mail accounts. Choosing a lengthy password using all sorts of characters including special characters and numbers makes your password strong enough to prevent penetration by hackers. A 16 characters password is highly recommended.
2. Check URL. Always be sure to check your URL before entering your logging in details. There exist many look-alike sites that clandestinely seek your logging in details and many fall in the design. Checking URL every time you try to log in is the best way to stay away from fake login pages.
3. Check log in option. Even if you are working on your own computer, never ask your system to remember your log in identity. Never forget to uncheck the option before logging in especially on someone else’s private computer. If you forget to uncheck the ‘remember me’ option, you are surely going forward towards compromising your e-mail’s security.
4. Avoid accessing e-mails at public places. You may compromise your log in details by accessing your e-mails at public places. You do not know what spyware is working to make you fool. There may be some CCTV working to keep a watch on you and to obtain your log in details.
5. Do not open e-Mails from unknown senders. Hackers often send malicious e-mails to spoof and phis away innocent users. Be watchful on such activities. Do not open or try to open e-mails received from unknown senders; especially, be extremely vigilant when such e-mails arrive with attachments.
6. Stay away from clicking on suspicious links. Never tempt to click on suspicious links, even if they seem to come from your known connections. Always check with senders before clicking on such forwarded-links. Most of the hacking instances occur due to such clicking and thereby divulging sensitive personal data.
7. Go for a secondary e-mail account. This is a true safe practice. If you, at all, happen to work on a system other than your own, you must create a secondary e-mail account and work on it. Needless to say, log in credentials of this secondary e-mail account must differ from your original one and you should forward copy of all your e-mails from your original account to this secondary account just to allow you to work on this account. If your account gets hacked owing to working on an unsecured machine, you will be able to save your original account this way. You must be selective while working on this secondary account.
8. Stay away from sharing your personal details with anyone. Take utmost care in securing your personal information on Internet. Any breach in this regard may jeopardize safety of your e-mail accounts.
9. Monitor functions and existence of filters. Custom filters are common phenomenon in e-mail services. Some of these filters may work against you by forwarding your messages to some un-known destination. Check them regularly and find presence of such bad filters. Stay away from any un-recognizable filters.
10. Monitor IP address of your last log in regularly. This is not a preventive measure; but the practice can notify you, if you have been hacked. While checking IP address of your last log in, if you find any un-recognizable IP, then it is possible that you have been hacked. On observing such discrepancies, you must change your log in credentials immediately.