EQ Forum Admin
In no particular order here are my top 10 email security tips for protecting your email accounts :
- Do not use shared computers - If you must login to a shared or public computer only login to your throwaway email accounts, never an account that is important to you. When you are done on the shared computer clear the recent browsing history including the cookies, cache, form history, and passwords.
- Connect to the internet over secure internet connections. The wired connection at your house is good. The wired connection at your work should be OK too but it's somewhat more likely that there might be someone in your company who could be monitoring your internet traffic. Avoid wireless connections, especially public open wireless connections. You can mitigate some of the risk by only connecting to email accounts that encrypt the entire connection with HTTPS for all web pages and not just the login pages. For more information about threats related to using insecure wireless internet connections please see this article - Top 5 tips to prevent your email from getting hacked
- Create a strong email password. Never use simple or easy to guess passwords. For more tips on creating a strong email password please see this guide - Why you need strong passwords and how to protect them
- Scan all email attachments before downloading and opening them. This includes unexpected email attachments from people you know. Viruses and spyware easily spread through email attachments by emailing themselves to email addresses listed in contact lists and address books.
- If you need to email several people consider using BCC to copy in the multiple recipients. To help avoid the above issue in #4 you can help prevent the spread of known good email addresses by not giving 3rd parties access to your contacts list by using BCC lists and not copying in multiple To: or CC: addresses. Many mail programs and email service providers automatically add email addresses to their contact lists and address books.
- Do not save contacts into the address books of your throwaway email accounts and mail programs.
- Never share your private information. This includes logging into accounts using untrusted computers, giving a password to a technical support representative, or responding to an email that asks for you to confirm your account details. For more information about protecting yourself from phishing attacks please see this article - Secure and protect your email accounts from phishing scams
- Separate your email accounts. Keep several active email accounts open that you use for different purposes. This can include one or more personal email accounts that you use to email friends and family, a business email account, and some throwaway accounts that won't cause a problem for you if they get hacked or suspended. You may want to give your throwaway email address to those within your friends and family circle who like to send email forwards, hoaxes, and always seem to be the ones who need help removing the latest spyware from their computer.
- Do not save your email account passwords in your mail programs or web browsers.
- Regularly backup your primary email account.