Before we begin, you can have the most advanced cyber security practices and anti-virus in place, but if you do not have a strong enough password to secure your devices or online accounts, all your security measures might as well be useless. As I have already explained in a previous tutorial, more people are hacked as a result of weak passwords than any other single factor. With that established, the 2nd most common way to hack someone is through their email inboxes or accounts – just ask Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, John Brennan and the DNC about that.
Make no mistake, if some of the worlds most powerful people can have their personal emails hacked, so can you. This is also why learning how to practice better email habits should be of the upmost importance for you heading into the future.
What To Avoid & How Email Hacks are Pulled Off:
While browsing through your email account(s), never open a single email or click on any link(s) from a sender you do not know personally. It might seem harmless, but the simple act of curiously opening an email or clicking on a link within an email can open Malware or register and transmit the IP Address of the device you are using to the sender of that email or link.
When a hacker sends compromising emails or links to your personal inbox it is a technique known as “Phishing,” and it is perhaps the most common form of cyber-attack you will ever encounter. I am willing to bet that everyone whom has ever owned an email account has seen a phishing scheme at one point or another in their lifetime, whether they were even aware of it or not. This is also why it is important to not just leave your email out in the open for all the world to see, or blindly pass it around to so many pages across the internet – especially if you have something to lose.
Believe it or not, there are even free and public services which allow any person to secretly attach a program to any given link or email they send, which automatically transmits data such as your IP Address as soon as you open it. This type of program also reveals things like the time of day you clicked the link, the type of browser you were using and how long you kept the window open. This is also what is referred to as a “trap-link.” The most common of which comes in the form of an “IP-logger,” which automatically registers the data of any device that clicks on it. While this might sound extremely complicated or foreign to you, again, regardless of the legality of it all, there are actually multiple free services, platforms and tools available on the internet for people to do just this.
Needless to say, always use caution and judgement when clicking on any links in your inbox, online chat, message or social media network alike – especially from people/sources/senders you do not know/trust or have never done business with directly. Lastly, getting your IP logged is the least of your concerns – it’s just the most common practice. Typically, hackers will “Spear-Phish” different/specific emails with malicious links that can secretly upload or install malware onto a users device, granting further access to their information. Additionally, every file you download should be immediately scanned by your anti-virus, because Microsoft Word documents and weaponized pdf’s are increasingly being used by the world’s most sophisticated hackers – because these are the most widely downloaded types of documents online, making them the easiest means to widely install malware on more peoples devices.
Separate Your Inboxes:
A good practice is to also use separate accounts for different purposes. For example, use a separate email account for your online banking and/or business than you would use for family, friends, or subscribing to magazines. This ensures that if one account is ever breached or compromised, not every aspect of your life gets compromised along with it. Additionally, use separate passwords for separate accounts and always reserve your strongest passwords for your most important accounts. You should also utilize two-factor authentication whenever and wherever possible.
If you are a website domain owner, or own multiple email accounts, you can also secure your personal or business inbox behind a mail forwarding service through your domains DNS settings or an alternative service provider. Selecting this option will allow you to pass out an email address without actually revealing the true end destination where those emails will be sent, essentially turning the mail forwarding address into an “alias” or “proxy” for your real account.
If you would like to learn more about alternative/encrypted email service providers, as well as why you should consider making the switch to them, please utilize the following link: https://roguesecuritylabs.ltd/making-the-switch-to-encrypted-emails/
If you need help learning how to read, write and remember stronger passwords to secure your online accounts, please utilize the following link: https://roguesecuritylabs.ltd/how-to-write-un-hackable-passwords/