Do you use email for work-related purposes? You aren’t alone. Statistics show that over three in four businesses use email to communicate with their customers, clients and/or vendors. Emails, of course, aren’t immune to cyber threats. They can be hijacked by nefarious individuals, thus paving the way for data breaches. You can protect against email hijacking by implementing a few basic safeguards.
Overview of Email Hijacking
Email hijacking is a cyber threat in which a hacker compromises your email account and uses it for malicious purposes. Whether you realize it or not, your email account probably contains a lot of sensitive data. It may contain the personal information of your business’s customers as well as correspondences with banks and other organizations. If this data falls into the wrong hands, it could be used for malicious purposes. With email hijacking, a hacker will take control of your email account while using it for malicious purposes.
Create a Strong Password
Protecting against email hijacking requires the use of a strong password. If you have a weak password for your email account, a hacker may be able to guess it through a brute-force attack. Brute-force attacks are a form of a spam-based hacking. It involves a hacker spamming credential combinations while trying to find the right combination for your account. With a strong password, hackers are less likely to gain access to your email account.
Lock Your Devices
Another way to protect against email hijacking is to lock your devices. You should a screen lock enabled on all the devices that you use to receive and send emails. Unlocked devices are more likely to suffer from email hijacking than locked device. If a device is unlocked and you happen to lose it, the person who finds it may be able to access your email account, which could lead to email hijacking.
Use a Secure Wi-Fi
Never access your email account over a public Wi-Fi. Instead, use a secure and private Wi-Fi. Unsecured Wi-Fi can leave your devices vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. During a MITM attack, your email account could become compromised.
Beware of Attachments
You should beware of file attachments when checking your email account. Most instances of email-based malware are delivered via file attachments. If you download a malicious file attachment in an email, you may unknowingly infect your computer or device with malware. Depending on the type of malware, it could be used to gain access to your email account.