Internet security is an issue that, with the explosive rise of internet popularity, has been thrown to the back of our minds. Most internet users feel pretty secure nowadays, especially with programs like Adblock that make it easier to avoid viruses and unwanted pop-ups. Unfortunately, internet security is still a big concern, and with our gained confidence, we only put ourselves more at risk. It’s important to remember that we should always be careful, and try to protect ourselves as best we can from viruses and bugs. One of the most vulnerable places that these unwanted pests can gain access is your email, so we’ve put together a short list of easy tips to keep your email, and thus your computer, as secure as possible.
- Create a strong, unique password – It’s tempting to have the same simple password for all of your accounts, but the fact is, in doing this you put your security at risk. It is of the utmost importance that you try and devise a password that is different from your other accounts, so that if one account gets hacked, the rest are still safe.
- Use separate accounts – If all of your work emails, personal emails, facebook notifications, junk emails, and spam go to the same account, you are definitely putting yourself at risk. This means, if someone breaks into that one account, you’re likely to lose everything. Consider instead creating separate email accounts. In addition to better protecting yourself, it can be a major productivity boost, because only your work emails are in your work email account, only your personal emails are in your personal account, etc.
- Don’t click links in emails – A lot of the time, email links can set you up for a bad surprise. If a site is trying to sell you something, you don’t know exactly where that link will take you. While it very well could be safe, there’s always the possibility that the link could lead you right to a virus. Choose instead to copy and paste the URL into your browser.
- Be aware of phishing scams – Any email that asks you for personal information, passwords or the like, is untrustworthy. Phishing scams especially try to impersonate big name websites like Amazon or Ebay, tell you there’s something wrong with your account, and then ask for your account information to fix it. Never respond with your personal information, but if you are concerned about your account you can choose to access the website directly. This is a much safer way to ensure that everything is okay with your account, and that you aren’t being phished.
- Do not open unfamiliar attachments – As a general rule of thumb, if you’re not expecting it, or you don’t know the sender, don’t open it. Attachments can easily be disguised as something they’re not, quickly exposing your computer to unwanted viruses and bugs. So, unless it’s an attachment you’ve been waiting on, or it’s from your mom, delete that email instead.