Whether you’re using email to communicate with friends, family, or colleagues at work, it’s important to know how to protect it. While an encrypted email can’t be read by anyone other than the sender and recipient, metadata—which includes information like the sender’s IP address and the timestamp of the email—can still be captured and examined by data mining software. It’s important to protect your emails: here are four easy steps to get started.
Back up your emails
The thought of losing all your emails fills you with horror, we’re sure. To prevent this happening, create a backup, which will give you access should your email client server be compromised. There are free accounts that offer email backup services, or keep copies of important emails either in another folder on your computer or in an online storage service like Dropbox.
Check which apps have access to your account
It’s a good idea to undertake some IT housekeeping from time-to-time, which includes checking which apps have access to your emails. If anything sounds unfamiliar, it’s time to check and revoke that access. You can also block an app from accessing your account in future.
Enable two-factor authentication
To make your accounts more secure, start using two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA). This adds an extra layer of security by asking for additional information when you sign in, such as a code sent to your mobile phone. This means that even if someone steals your password, they won’t be able to get into your account without access to your phone.
Manage your passwords
Without additional security, such as 2FA, if your email is compromised, every other account connected to it could be hacked as well. To prevent that from happening, choose a different password for each of your accounts—you can use online tools, or applications within your internet browser to do so. Change your passwords regularly, and if you haven’t done so for a while, put it at the top of your to-do list!