5 easy ways to protect your correspondence

    The number of email users in 2015 was approximately 2.6 billion. It is expected that by 2019 this figure will increase to 2.9 billion. However, many users have more than one email address. And each of these electronic mailboxes can be a source of information for attackers.

    Having gained access to your mail, the fraudster will be able to view personal correspondence and conduct transactions with accounts in other services registered to this address. In 2014, about 5 million passwords to Gmail mailboxes “ leaked ” to the network , which allowed you to enter your mail and gain access to other Google services.

    This list goes on and on. Therefore, today we look at a few simple ways that will help protect your correspondence and personal data from theft. Photo Jonathan McIntosh CC / Flickr

    1. Use two-factor authentication (where possible)

    In this case, you will need to enter the password twice: first, the original code word or combination of characters that you thought up when creating the account, and then the one-time password, which you receive as a text message to the phone (or to the token device) every time you enter into the system.

    You should also remember to regularly check your account information and change your password (you can use password generation services for this). Such seemingly insignificant, but extremely significant “preventive” measures will detect hacking and interrupt the attacker’s access to the account.

    2. Be careful with attachments in the letter

    It is better to open pdf, xls and doc documents with the antivirus turned on , as they can contain all sorts of trojans and other malicious programs. Running macros in these documents should also be approached with caution.

    So-called interactive letters can also come to your inbox that allow downloading content from third-party servers. This content can be either regular images or js-scripts, so you should disable the automatic downloading of such content (if the mail client allows this) and enable it manually for trusted sources and senders.

    Also note that you should not leave your email address "anywhere." This increases the chance of your email being spammed. But if unwanted messages began to arrive in the mail, then use the spam filters that are part of most email clients. As an alternative, you can pay attention to the services that filter the information received by mail.

    3. Consider using a paid box

    Sonam Rai, content marketer at Magnet Brains Software Technology, rightly observes : “A free email service is never reliable, and a reliable service cannot be free.” The statement is very controversial, but for a general understanding of the options, you can see this table, which presents a variety of mail services that can serve you well.

    4. Use TLS cryptographic protocols (SSL) to encrypt messages

    You can check if encryption is enabled for a specific email using the CheckTLS tool by entering the email address in the corresponding field. To encrypt e-mails, you can also use extensions for browsers - for example, SecureGmail for Google Chrome and Encrypted Communication for FireFox.

    You can also encrypt messages using the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) utility. This is a free program that turns the contents of a letter into nonsense for everyone except you and the recipient. In this case, both users - the sender and the recipient - work with a key pair, which greatly complicates the process of breaking the message. More details about the principle of PGP operation are described here and herehere .

    5. Use console mail clients

    Many security experts recommend using the elm, pine, mutt email clients - console “old-time programs”, some of which are over 30 years old. The love of antiquity was succinctly explained by Marek Tuszynski of the Tactical Technology Collective, a non-governmental organization that educates activists and reporters on digital privacy and security.

    “Simply means reliably. Console tools have a simpler design, consist of fewer lines of code without vulnerabilities, says Marek. - All this increases the security of the program as a whole. Fewer errors - higher stability. ”

    Indeed, mutt consists of several thousand lines of code, while their number in Thunderbird is close to a million, and in Google Chrome it is close to 17 million. For this reason, the number of vulnerabilities found in mutt over the past 10 years is negligible compared to the number of vulnerabilities found in large browsers (such as Chrome and FireFox) and email clients (such as Outlook).

    In addition, we note that you should not use e-mail (as well as any other services with accounts) when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Open networks are fraught with danger, because traffic is not encrypted and vulnerable to interception - if desired, an attacker using special programs can gain access to your information.

    The inviolability of personal life and correspondence is an individual human right. However, fraudsters and attackers were, are, and certainly will not go anywhere in the near future. Therefore, the best we can do at the moment is to take matters into our own hands and take certain measures to protect e-mail on our own.

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