Use different email accounts, enable two-factor authentication, change your email account 4X / year, plus some bonus tips.
Email security is important.
Without secure email, your entire online presence is at risk. And most of the responsibility for email security lies with you.
Email providers can’t guarantee your cybersecurity. Hackers attack email providers to gain access to user accounts. But they also directly attack individual email accounts, using phishing, malware, social engineering and other scams.
Here are three tips to dramatically improve your email security from JP Morgan’s Cybersecurity Awareness document.
Email Tip #1: Use Different Personal & Business Email Accounts
If you segment business and personal email accounts, you decrease cybersecurity risk by 50%. It takes extra effort and time to manage two accounts, but it’s much better than the alternative. Here’s what two email accounts look like…
Example Email For Business:
Example Email For Personal:
Once you setup your business and personal email accounts, start using them in that way. Send your contacts an appropriate announcement and interact with people on each account accordingly. This will help limit the downside risk if one of your accounts gets hacked.
Email Tip #2: Enable Dual-Factor Authentication
Enable dual-factor authentication in your email service when available to help prevent unauthorized access. This is probably the best thing you can do to secure your email.
Dual Factor Authentication, also known as DFA (as an acronym), is an extra layer of security that is known as "multi factor authentication". It requires a username & password but also something that only that user has on them – like cell phone text verification. Using dual-factor authentication will help dramatically improve your email security.
Email Tip #3: Change Your Password 4 Times Per Year
Email passwords are your first line of defense against a cyberattack. Hackers use dictionaries, names, linguistic patterns, and can break into over 60% of passwords used today – possibly including yours. And worse, email providers also get hacked thus compromising your passwords.
Here are some ways to improve your email password security.
- Use long and complex passwords – at least 10 characters.
- Use special characters and numbers.
- Change your email password 3-4 times per year.
Bonus: Extra Tips to ‘Bulletproof’ Your Email Accounts
Following the above 3 tips will put you ahead of most other email users. However, if you want to go the extra mile to ‘bulletproof’ your email accounts, here are more email security tips:
Image from: JP Morgan’s Guide to Cybersecurity Awareness
Other Cybersecurity Areas To Watch
Email security will be important for any person with an email account going forward. Make sure you’re aware of the dangers and follow these tips to stay safe online.
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