Electronic mail or e-mail is the method of digitally exchanging messages between people or a group of people using electronic devices like mobile phones, computers etc. E-mail and Instant Messaging (IM) are one of the most popular way of communication online with family, friends and business groups and hence, often it becomes the victim of spam, phishing scams, viruses, and other online threats.
So, how do we keep it secure?
There are some of the easy steps through which you can secure your e-mail or IM:
- Install comprehensive security software: The security software installed in the system should be efficient and up-to-date. Example: Norton, McAfee Security etc. This protects your computer from viruses, worms, torzans, un-wanted e-mails and all other key threats. It is also recommended to have firewall in the system which monitors your internet connection and avoid un-wanted traffic to your PC.
2. Careful when downloading or opening any attachments: You can obtain a virus simply by downloading an attachment from your contacts or a stranger. Be careful before you download any such files which you received, before clicking on download or open the file. Make sure that you have turned on the security by enabling the security software.
3. Use IM wisely: You might be in contact with many of your friends, colleagues through Instant Messenger and you would be constantly in touch with them. However, keep in mind that it is always risky to share your personal information through these medium. It can always expose to the online security threat.
4. Use e-mail wisely: While IM is for keeping in touch with your friends, family; the e-mail most of the time is used for business communication purpose. You might have efficient security software; however, the receiver of your e-mail might not have the same. So, watch out before you submit any of the confidential information like credit card details, your identity cards through e-mail.
5. Do not reply to spam e-mail: If you don’t recognise the sender, never ever reply to that e-mail even for unsubscribe. It could set you up for more spam.
6. Create a complex e-mail address: Most often we create an e-mail address consisting the name or date of birth etc. which are pretty simple. Try to set up the complex e-mail addresses which are easy to remember for the strangers like [email protected] etc. Use letters, numbers, special characters in a unique way so that hackers cannot auto-generate your e-mail easily.
7. Create strong and smart passwords: Create a password which is difficult for hackers to think through. It should be unique and difficult something like [email protected]*
8. Beware of phishing scams: Many times you observe that you would have received an e-mail from the recruiter or any business asking for your personal information like bank account number or credit card information or passwords. Please be very careful before you respond to that e-mail. It could be a phishing e-mail to induce you to provide your details.