Why your “useless mailbox” can be hacked?
The most dangerous misconception about which all security measures are broken and which attackers successfully use is the idea that ” I am a small person and my mail correspondence is not needed for nothing.”
This is not the case. Each post has a specific value. First, today, an email account is used as a universal identifier of a person on the network. They register in social networks, messaging services, financial services, and other places. Second, having taken possession of your mailbox, the attacker will follow the chain and quickly gain access to your other data, which will already have a genuine value.
Secondly, even if one of your mailboxes is not needed by anyone, then a million accounts have a very tangible value. Organized into a single network, they become a powerful tool for sending spam, on which attackers earn a lot of money.
And third, even small people sometimes have their little secrets that they don’t want to share. Sometimes personal correspondence, photos, and other data become a reason for banal blackmail.
How will you be broken?
Since we are talking about the mail of an ordinary user and not a show business star or a politician, then, most likely, no one will specifically and purposefully deal with your account. No, most likely, you will fall under a massive bombardment, which uses one or more of the following methods at once.
- Password selection. Do you know what the most popular passwords in the recently published databases are? Yes, it’s the immortals 123456 and qwerty! And these people are surprised that their mail was hacked? But even if you have, in your opinion, a strong password consisting of the date of birth or the name of your dog, then this is not a reason to relax. Your birthday is easily calculated in social networks or other open sources, and characters, like other famous words, are quickly selected using special dictionaries.
- Selection of the answer to the secret question. This method of protection is often used by mail services to restore a user’s account. And it can also be used by hackers to intercept the management of your email account. Most people use fairly similar responses, and you can find out a lot of personal information about a user after carefully studying their social media posts.
- Hacking another service. Very often, users use the same password for all their services and sites. Given that almost any registration requires you to specify your email address, hackers may have a working pair of usernames and passwords from your email account in their hands. Therefore, if a service is hacked and a database with passwords is leaked, your email may also be at risk.
- Use antivirus software. Remember that even the most powerful antivirus is utterly useless without timely updates of malware databases.
- Enable two-factor authentication. Yes, sometimes it can be inconvenient, and the constant input of codes slows down the entrance to the mail, but today it is the most reliable way to save your personal data.
- Carefully study the data of any message. This is especially true for those emails that invite you to click on the link. Take an even closer look at the pages where you are asked to enter your credentials.
- If you see a suspicious email, then throw it in the spam folder; although emails are usually checked using a mail tester, some emails are better checked manually.
- Do not use simple passwords. It is best if your password contains at least eight characters and consists of uppercase and lowercase letters and special characters. And, of course, no names, nicknames, names, or generally understandable common words.
- Change your password periodically, especially if you found out that some service where you had an account was hacked. Be sure to change your password if your computer has been infected with a virus, you have seen strange activity in your mail, or you have at least the slightest suspicion of password security.
- Do not use the same password on different services.
These recommendations are similar to the advice to wash your hands before eating. Observing “Internet hygiene,” you will save yourself from unnecessary problems, financial losses from the need to contact specialists. Behealthyandtakecareofyourmail!