1 . Securing your email
There are a few important steps that you can take in order to increase the security of your email communication. The first is to make sure that only the person to whom you send a given message is able to read it. This is discussed in the Keeping your webmail private and Switching to a more secure emailaccount sections, below. Going beyond the basics, it is sometimes critical that your email contacts have the ability to verify that a particular message truly came from you and not from someone who might be attempting to impersonate you. One way to accomplish this is described under Advanced email security, in the Encrypting and authenticating individual email messages section. You should also know what to do if you think the privacy of your email account may have been violated. The Tips on responding to suspected email surveillance section addresses this question.
2 . Keeping your webmail private
The Internet is an open network through which information typically travels in a readable format. If a normal email message is intercepted on the way to a recipient, its contents can be read quite easily. And, because the Internet is just one large, worldwide network that relies on intermediary computers to direct traffic, many different people may have the opportunity to intercept a message in this way. Your Internet Service Provider ISP is the first recipient of an email message as it begins its journey to the recipient. Similarly, the recipient s ISP is the last stop for your message before it is delivered. Unless you take certain precautions, your messages can be read or tampered with at either of these points, or anywhere in between.
3 . Additional tips on improving your email security
Always use caution when opening email attachments that you are not expecting,In addition to protecting passwords and financial transactions, this type of encryption is perfect for securing your webmail. However, many webmail providers do not offer secure access, and others require that you enable it explicitly, either by setting a preference or by typing in the HTTPS manually. You should always make sure that your connection is secure before logging in, reading your email, or sending a message.
4 . Switching to a more secure email account
Few webmail providers offer SSL access to your email. Yahoo and Hotmail, for instance, provide a secure connection only while you log in, to protect your password, but your messages themselves are sent and received insecurely. In addition, Yahoo, Hotmail and some other free webmail providers insert the IP address of the computer you are using into all of the messages you send.
5 . Gmail accounts
Gmail accounts, on the other hand, use a secure connection during log-in and all the way until you log out. You can confirm this along the way by looking at the address bar and observing the URL starting with https , where the s denotes a secure connection. And, unlike Yahoo or Hotmail, Gmail avoids revealing your IP address to email recipients. However, it is not recommend that you rely entirely on Google for the confidentiality of your sensitive email communication. Google scans and emails like this, you should ensure that your anti-virus software is up to date and pay close attention to any warnings displayed by your browser or email program.
6 . When creating an account
When creating an account that you intend to use while remaining anonymous from your own email recipients, or from public forums to which you might post messages by email, you must be careful not to register a username or Full Name that is related to your personal or professional life. In such cases, it is also important that you avoid using Hotmail, Yahoo, or any other webmail provider that includes yourIP address in the messages you send.
7 . Passwords
At the very least your password should consist of a jumble of letters and numbers. It should not be a word. There are a few important steps that you can take in order to increase the security of your email communication. The first is to make sure that only the person to whom you send a given message is able to read it. This is discussed in the Keeping your webmail private and Switching to a more secure emailaccount sections, below. Going beyond the basics, it is sometimes critical that your email contacts have the ability to verify that a particular message truly came from you and not from someone who might be attempting to impersonate you. One way to accomplish this is described under Advanced email security, in the Encrypting and authenticating individual email messages section.
8 . Common sense
Do not click on a web link contained in an email even if the email is from your mom. It s a common way that hackers use to infect your machine. The link can take you to a site that downloads a program to your computer giving the hacker access to your email account.
9 . Wide open computers
I find it incredible that many people have no protection at all against viruses, spyware and other malware. It s like driving a car that has no brakes. And there are plenty of excellent programs out there that do a fine job and yet don t cost a penny.
10 . Nave users
While browsing the web they see an offer that seems too good to be true, or a contest that sounds like it would be fun, or a new game to play online. So they click on the button and allow software to be downloaded to their machine. What a deal. Not only do they get to enter a contest or play a game, they get hacked.