Guarding Against Email Hackers: Essential Tech Tips
As technology has evolved, hackers have gotten crafty at finding their next victims. One of the most common hacking methods used today is email hacking. Typically, hackers access your email through phishing. Phishing occurs when a hacker disguises an illegitimate email to appear as a genuine one, tricking the recipient into filling out a form or website to verify their information. Unbeknownst to them, this innocent act resulted in the hacker receiving their personal information, including email login and sensitive banking information. Check out these tech tips to avoid falling into the hacker's next trap.
- Enable two-factor authentication- Two-factor authentication is a high-level security method created to add an extra layer of protection to your email. Two-factor authentication requires your phone number or a 3rd-party app to send a code to your mobile device, which you will then need to log in to your email.
- Use complex passwords- Create a complex, secure password using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for your email account. Avoid using easy words and identifiers like your name or birthday in your password. The harder your password is to guess, the more likely the hacker won't be able to guess it either.
- Secure your devices- It may seem obvious, but keeping your devices up-to-date with the latest antivirus and anti-malware is an easy way to protect yourself against hackers. Windows computers offer a free antivirus product, Microsoft Defender Antivirus, you can download in a single tap. Meanwhile, Mac OS X has its own protection, XProtect, that you can download for minimal security. And if you are using an FSU-owned Windows or MacOS computer, there are multiple free antivirus and anti-malware programs you can download to protect your device. Visit our website to learn more about how you can download this software.
- Inspect the website’s security code- A website’s security code is the “http” in the beginning of a website link. The most secure website code is “https” which uses digital certificates to encrypt and secure the website link. In other words, “https” is more secure than a typical “http” link. When receiving emails directing you to a website, ensure the website is secure to minimize the chances of a phishing link.
These are just a few of the ways to protect yourself against email hackers. You must always practice email safety and keep your eyes on any suspicious activity. To learn more about ways you can secure your email account, visit https://its.fsu.edu/cybersecurity.