Updated: Mar 17
In Part 1 of this data protection and security series, we reviewed the most common types of cybersecurity attacks – Phishing, Smishing, and Vishing. Continuing our overview in Part 2, we addressed two more strategies for cyberattack – Malware and Ransomware. Now in Part 3, we will examine the importance of Password Use and Safety for Emails.
Email has become a go-to in everyday life, a convenient, quick, mobile-friendly, and easy way for you to communicate and exchange information and files with others. But as discussed in this data protection and security series, email can also be the single point of entry cybercriminals first target to invade your personal and business information and take hostage control of your systems.
Most people opt for the convenience of generally available email systems without due consideration for how safe they really are. Safety and protection are taken for granted for systems “everyone” is using but, most standard email systems encrypt only the account itself. Once a cybercriminal breaks that one level of encryption and gains access to your account, all of the other files within your account – the emails and their attachments and all the information they contain – become vulnerable to exploitation. The cybercriminal who has obtained your password now has the means to log in and change your password and easily lock you out of your own account.
Whatever commonly available email system you use, you must take precautionary measures to mitigate attacks and protect your email account with as many security controls as you can. Creating a strong password is an essential first step in your line of defense against cybercriminal intrusion.
Tips for Creating Strong Passwords
Following are some tips for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe:
• Create a combination of capital and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers to form a password of not less than ten characters. The longer and more complex or random you make your password, the harder it will be for a cybercriminal to break.
• Avoid including in your password any easily associated information such as your own or a loved one’s name or nickname, birthday, address, or anything else that may be easily guessed. Instead, try creating personal acronyms that only you would recognize.
• Never use one password for all your accounts and don’t store your passwords in a file on your own system. If your system is breached, all your passwords will be right there for the taking and all your accounts vulnerable. Likewise, don’t write your passwords on notepads or sticky notes and leave them on your desk or computer screen or other places where people can view them.
• Install antiviral software on your systems and keep the software up to date to ensure your data is protected from the latest known malware.
• Implement an email system with two-factor or multi-factor authentication to provide an added layer of protection and make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access.
Password creation and password storage are serious concerns that are often taken lightly. As reported by FCW, recent research on password generation practices has shown that users habitually create simple, hackable passwords and often use the same passwords across multiple platforms.
Individual users and businesses fail to recognize the negative repercussions that can result from a casual administrative approach to password protection for email and system files. As this article series has shown, a great deal of personal, financial, and reputational damage can ensue simply by being casual about protecting access to your private information.
Gold Comet Secure Messaging allows you to address all of these protection factors and ensures your messages will remain safe and secure. The system takes security to the next level with the inclusion of a unique self-generated passphrase to access your account. Our patented multi-layer authentication provides an impenetrable line of defense against hacking attempts. Beyond the initial access protection, Gold Comet offers Secure File Storage and Secure File Sharing so that you can upload, store, and collaborate on work with shared files and folders under the protective umbrella of the Gold Comet Secure Cloud. To find out more about Gold Comet’s secure systems, visit our business and personal account pages, or use our Contact Form to request technical support.