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Precautions while using Securing Email
Take precautions when using Gmail or any other email service.
11. Secret questions that beg to be hacked
You were probably asked to create the answers to some questions when you opened the account. That way, being able to answer helps to prove that you are the owner of that account. But some of the usual questions and answers make things easy for a hacker to be able to answer them and change the password taking control of the account. For instance, a common question is what high school did you attend or what s your mother s maiden name. In cases like that a little Googling make it easy for a stranger to find the answer. Or the answer may be as close as your listing on Classmates.com or Facebook. Here s what to do. Create goofy responses. What high school did you attend? Why Walt Disney World, of course. Your mom s maiden name? Dracula.
12. You may not have been hijacked after all
There s another way to send out email messages that seem to be from you. And it doesn t require hacking your account. It is possible for a spammer to use what is called a spoofed email address. It s trivially easy to send out emails in another person s name that seem legit.
13. Recovering from a hack attack
OK. You failed to take these tips to heart. Or it s possible that you did everything right and still got hacked. Let s talk about preparing for that event. For starters don t use a free email account for important business transactions or any other type of email that is personal or important. Here s why. Providers of free email accounts often are next to impossible to reach when your account is hacked. That makes sense after all they can t afford to spend a lot of support money when no money is coming in to them. On the other hand you are a paying customer of your Internet provider, so it s more likely that you can get personal help for your problem. Getting quick help is important since, once your account has been hacked, it s likely that you won t be able to receive new emails or, in some cases, to see old emails. Hackers often change the password so that you ll be blocked from opening your own account.
14. Email hijacking is a big deal
I don t have to do much to convince you of that. I ll bet in any given week you receive at least one bogus message falsely sent in the name of a friend or business contact whose computer has been hijacked. Or, one fine day your friends may have received spam that seemed to come from you. And since spammers use this hijacked accounts to shield themselves from the law it may have advertised pornography or illegal scams. All in your name. Let s start today with some simple ways to reduce the chances that you ll have to send embarrassing emails to your friends and family warning them that your account has been hijacked and asking them not to open any emails that seem to be from you.
15. Never use the same passwords
Never use the same passwords that you use at work on a social networking site. You should also know what to do if you think the privacy of your email account may have been violated. The Tips on responding to suspected email surveillance section addresses this question. Remember, too, that secure email will not do you any good if everything you type is recorded by spyware and periodically sent over the Internet to a third party.
16. Limit usage of social networking sites
Limit usage of social networking sites to personal use only. Do not write about work issues. Always assume everyone in the world will be able to see what you re writing even if the site limits your post to your friends exclusively. The Internet is an open network through which information typically travels in a readable format. If a normal email message is intercepted on the way to a recipient, its contents can be read quite easily. And, because the Internet is just one large, worldwide network that relies on intermediary computers to direct traffic, many different people may have the opportunity to intercept a message in this way.
17. Try to avoid mentioning where you work
Try to avoid mentioning where you work; so that if you mention something you thought innocent (but that might be valuable information for hackers) they will not know who to target. Your Internet Service Provider ISP is the first recipient of an email message as it begins its journey to the recipient. Similarly, the recipient s ISP is the last stop for your message before it is delivered. Unless you take certain precautions, your messages can be read or tampered with at either of these points, or anywhere in between.
18. Important to beware
After all above precautions it is still very important to beware of what you write in the messages and what impact would it have if it fell into the wrong hands. One way of increasing the security of information exchange is to develope a code system for sensitive information exchange, so you would not use real names of the people, real addresses of places, etc.
19. Wait while Gmail activates Priority Inbox
You will now see that your inbox looks a little different: 1-Important and unread are now listed first. 2-Starred items are listed below in a second list. 3-All other emails are listed after the starred emails as the final list. 4-If you don t want to see the actual emails, you can collapse each set of headers using the tiny black arrows located in each header. The end result will appear very neat.
20. Train your Priority Inbox
You can rectify mistakes Gmail makes in highlighting or demoting the importance of your emails by pressing the tabs and stars at the start of each email line. These tabs or stars represent increasing or lowering the email s importance. In this way, Gmail s Priority Inbox quickly learns your preferences.
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