We are now connected more than ever. We communicate with friends and family through social media; handle banking transactions, shop and communicate with our friends and colleagues online; transfer confidential files and sensitive information via email; and more.
If you think about it, most of our online transactions begin with email – we’re always asked what our email address is as it serves as our most unique footprint online. This is how we connect across multiple applications and accounts that provide different services.
With all this communication happening online, we risk exposing ourselves by revealing information that could be used by scammers or identity thieves if they successfully penetrate our email.
Treating your email as if it was your bank account is the first step towards ensuring a more secure presence online. Because when it comes to safety, it’s better to take proactive measures before the inevitable happens.
Here are some steps you can take today to make your email accounts more secure:
Create a strong password.
Use a combination of letters in lower case and upper case, numbers and symbols – these are harder to crack. As much as possible, do not use words and parts of your real name in creating your password. Use a system to remember such as taking the first letter of every word in your favorite song title.
Use different passwords for different accounts.
Using just one password for all of your online accounts is a big no-no. Taking the extra step for safety is always the best way to go about matters especially when it comes to securing your online presence and information.
Take the time to clear your browser cache! It may save you time to not have to type in your username every time you log in, but in case your mobile device or laptop gets stolen, you’d be glad you did! Proactivity is the best policy. Being a little paranoid about your online security doesn’t hurt.
Create your own security question.
A lot of e-mail providers ask security questions whose answers serve as the “open-sesame” to your account in case you forget your password. It’s always best practice to provide your own security question that you are sure only you can answer – one that cannot be traced back to your social media accounts or is easily accessible through third party sources. If a person is eager to get to your account by bypassing this security measure, you better make sure you give them no chance of actually getting it right.