Email is arguably one of the greatest things about the internet. It's an amazing tool that allows us to contact our loved ones instantly, share our holiday photos with our friends and family, not to mention it’s an essential tool for work. Unfortunately, it’s also highly unsafe if you aren’t aware of what or who is hiding behind the scenes. Today, we’re looking at the dangers behind one of the most common internet activities — emailing. Read on and find out if you need to up your cybersecurity game today!
Cybersecurity: A lifelong learning experience
Ever since the internet became an inseparable part of today's life, most of us have had to face the fact that it’s not all fun and games and that there’s a dark side to it. Nowadays, we can't go a day without seeing some headline about a huge data breach or the importance of staying safe online.
However, the subject – especially for those of us who couldn’t even imagine the internet when we were growing up – is complicated, to say the least. Understanding each risk on the world wide web is — let’s face it — an impossible feat. That’s the case even for the professionals in the field. But grappling with the basics can go a long way in making your digital life less stressful and so much more secure.
If you are eager to learn more about cybersecurity and how you can improve your knowledge, we highly recommend taking a short quiz. The quiz was designed by the friendly folks here at NordPass and is meant to identify weak spots in your cybersecurity knowledge.
The unseen risks of email
Sending and checking emails is a daily chore for most of us. Unfortunately, too often we overlook the most basic cyber threats, believing they will never happen to us. But the reality is that, nowadays, anyone with an email account is highly susceptible to experiencing a cyberattack.
It is estimated that 2-4% of all emails sent over the internet contain some type of malicious content. And, with more than 3 billion phishing emails sent each day, it should be rather obvious that something as simple as an email could be extremely dangerous.
Tips for improving email security
As we continue to face one of the worst health crises in recent history due to the COVID-19 pandemic, email scams have been on the rise, mostly because people spend more time online than ever before. So, let’s look at a few basic steps you can take to minimize the risk of exposing yourself to online threats via email.
Watch out for phishing emails
Phishing attacks are some of the greatest cybersecurity threats on the internet. Unfortunately, they are very easy to fall for, especially if you are not familiar with them. Phishing is a malicious attack that uses deceiving tactics to fool unsuspecting users into falling for the scam. Here are a few basic signs that can help you determine a phishing email:
The grammar in the email is poor.
Suspicious sender address or domain name.
Contains suspicious links.
For more information on phishing scams, check out our previous blog entry on the topic.
Avoid downloading or opening suspicious attachments
Email attachments are one of the most common ways for cybercrooks to spread malware. To avoid falling prey to such cyberattacks, be sure to avoid opening any email attachments that come from unknown senders. Also, know that malicious attachments are often named poorly and contain grammar mistakes. If an unknown source specifically tells you to open a file attachment, you can bet that there is something deceitful going on.
Don’t ignore warning emails
According to a recent NordPass survey, the majority of users who are less aware of cybersecurity risks tend to ignore warning emails. Such emails in most instances inform you about a potentially unwanted login to one of your online accounts or notifies you about other suspicious activity. If you ever receive such an email, make sure to take action and secure the online account in question. Doing so is critical, since only a single compromised online account can get a seasoned hacker into your other accounts.
Use strong passwords, and use them wisely
Unfortunately, quite a few users tend to have a lazy attitude towards passwords. We often rely on simple and memorable passwords to protect our most important online accounts. Even worse, we tend to reuse them. Having a powerful password to protect your emails is crucial because your email account is the gateway to most of your other online accounts.
Creating a complex, unique password for your email account is a whole lot easier with the help of a Password Generator. With NordPass, you can improve your password security as a whole: not only does it generate passwords for you, but it also provides a secure vault to store them. Additionally, it allows you to autosave new passwords on the go and autofill login details of your favorite online accounts with just a few clicks.
Hopefully, after reading this blog, you’re going to excel at any questions regarding email security!