Personal email accounts are often the target of hackers and other digital attackers. In some cases, personal email accounts are more susceptible to various email attacks than corporate email accounts because they often lack the same security features. However, even if you work in a role that requires you to use your personal account on a regular basis, you can take steps to protect it from cyber threats. Your private email address is probably not something you advertise widely. But if hackers know your email address and can find your social media accounts, they might be able to find out more about you and launch an attack from there.
Change Your Password
The first line of defense against hackers is to change your password frequently. Choose passwords that are long and complex, but that you can also remember easily. Avoid using words in the dictionary, proper names, or your birthday. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as in the event one of them is breached, the others could also be compromised. In addition, avoid saving your passwords in your browser or on your mobile device. Doing so could put your computer or mobile device at risk of being hacked.
Enable 2-Step Verification
A strong password is not enough to protect your account. Hackers can attempt to break into your account using a combination of methods, including using social engineering techniques to get access to your login credentials. You can protect against this by enabling 2-step verification on your private email account. This feature requires a secondary form of authentication, such as a passcode sent to your mobile phone or a one-time code generated by an app, after the user provides the first password. This is a good way to protect your account even if someone discovers or guesses your login credentials.
Use a Password Manager
Another way to protect your private account is to use a password manager. Password managers are software tools that help you create, store, and manage your passwords. They’re useful for business users to manage the many passwords required for various company accounts, as well as for personal accounts. Most password managers also have the functionality to help you create strong passwords for all your accounts. They’re also easy to use and can generate strong passwords you don’t have to remember. Many password managers also offer strong password suggestions and help you avoid common password mistakes.
Install an Antivirus Program
If you use your private email account for business, you’ll want to protect it with an antivirus program. You can install antivirus software on your computer or on your company’s network. If you install antivirus software on your computer, make sure to update it regularly. Some antivirus software scans your computer and suggests updates as necessary. A good antivirus program will protect you from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other types of malicious software. It may also include spam filtering and anti-spyware functionality. When choosing antivirus software, look for products that are up-to-date and have strong reputations. The software should have active, real-time protection to detect and block threats. It should also have a good track record for detecting and removing malware.
Block Unwanted Mailing Lists
You can also protect your private account from unwanted emails. To do so, you can use a filter or a setting within your private email account. You can also sign up for a service like Gmail’s verified unwanted mailing list service or a third-party mailing list blocking service. These services scan incoming emails for keywords to identify mailing lists and then respond to those emails with a request that the sender removes you from their lists. Some mailing list blocking services also allow you to create your own lists of selected email addresses to block.
Personal email accounts are vulnerable to attacks, even if used for work. You can protect your private email account using strong passwords, antivirus software, and mailing list blocking services. If hackers know your email address and can find your social media accounts, they might be able to find out more about you and launch an attack from there.