Have you given your email password a thought lately? (Even a passing one?) May be, it’s time you did. The probability of your current password being a futile one is high, more so for your financial security.
Most of us use our email’s login name and password for all financial and bank accounts too. In such cases, the cybercriminal can, with utmost ease use the email login/password to buy expensive goods online or wipe clean your bank account using the account’s registered credit card.
There are a lot of low-cost hacking softwares floating online. Cybercriminals can easily crack a password using such softwares and once they are successful they have access to your e-statements from HDFC or Citibank, eBay or Amazon, and most likely they will get into these accounts as well. Hacking software uses lists of most commonly used passwords, even online versions of Webster’s Dictionary, popular pet names, months, etc. It then translates that information using a formula of permutation and combination. That explains why “password12” would be easy to crack!
The ways in which you can secure yourself from such an incident are actually quite simple. First, change your password. But, before you do that here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Create an alphanumeric password that is about 8-12 characters long. For example, it would take hacking software much longer to decode “k$@!34mo”.
- If you think “k$@!34mo” is difficult to remember you can still use “Voc@bUlA4567” and be pretty safe because it has a combination of upper-case, lower-case, punctuation and numbers.
- If your email account does not allow symbols in the password, you can still be relatively safe with “VocA4567bU”. You should also consider changing your Email vendor to one that is concerned about your security.
Secondly, refrain from using your email password for other accounts. Easier said than done, because we all have the habit of creating a supposedly ingenious password once and tend to use it everywhere possible. Why should you have different passwords? Well, the logic for an exclusive password for every occasion is easy. Once a cyber-thief hacks an email password he will try it on any financial account that is mentioned in the emails.
Thirdly, don’t share your password. Passwords should not be written on post-it notes stuck to your office board or under your fridge magnets or displayed as a screensaver. Remember that genuine businesses will never call you out of the blue to ask for your password. Do not give it away to people who call you claiming to be BBC, RBI, SBI or Honda etc.
It also helps to have a robust antivirus software that has an inbuilt email security that prevents spam, phishing and malware ridden emails to creep into your inbox.
Best antivirus for home users like Quick Heal which is one of the best virus protection softwares, offer multi-layered protection. Features like AntiVirus, AntiSpyware, AntiMalware, AntiSpam, AntiPhishing, Parental Control, PC2Mobile, PCTuner, etc. safeguard your digital experiences from online threats. It always helps to have a certified and authentic antivirus suite installed.
The steps for securing your email accounts and other linked accounts are quite easy. Try updating your email password today because it always helps to be a little more cautious!