Do Best Private Email Providers Need Extra Protection?
When you turn on your computer on a working day, it is likely that you visit your email box first. No wonder, as our email addresses are intimately linked to most parts of our online life: digital documents, remote work, social networks, online shops, etc. That’s why anonymous online communications and secure email providers become essential for us.
According to Statista, the list of top 3 email services in the United States consists of Google (Gmail), Yahoo, and Outlook (Hotmail). Along with the popularity, they also gained the status of the safest email providers. But how safe is the safest? KeepSolid team did an extended research on your favorite email services’ security. Also, we prepared some tips on how to additionally protect them.
Secrets of the safest email providers
These world-known companies say their security is unquestionable. But the facts are as follows:
Gmail (1.2 billion monthly active users). The most popular service is not impenetrable to hackers attack. On May 3rd, 2017, a sophisticated phishing scam targeted Gmail users. Unknown cyber criminals tried to gain access to email accounts using a third-party app. Users received an email message containing a suspicious link that looked like some of the users’ trusted contacts just sharing a Google Doc with them. After a user clicked the link, it led them to a security page. On that page they had to allow the app to manage their accounts. Even though Google fixed the problem in an hour, more than 1 million users had already been affected.
- Yahoo! (1 billion monthly active users). In December, 2016, it was officially announced that in 2013 more than 3 billion Yahoo accounts (including email addresses, Tumbler, Fantasy, and Flickr accounts) were compromised. The stolen information included unencrypted security questions and answers. The mysterious hacker or hackers were never found. This data breach is still considered one of the largest ones in the history of the internet.
- Hotmail (400 million monthly active users). According to an expert from Hold Security, 33 million Hotmail accounts were hacked in 2016. This data breach affected mostly German and Chinese email addresses, which belonged to employees engaged in the US banking, manufacturing, and retail companies.
How to make an email provider more secure?
As you can see, even the bestprivate email providers need extra protection. That’s why we prepared for you a list of precautionary measures which can keep your email box secure and private.
- Avoid clicking suspicious links. To learn how to recognize shady links, take a look at our previous article.
- Apply additional 2-step verification. This allows your email provider to send a special code to your smartphone when someone tries to enter your account.
- Don’t leave your email address in the public domain. You can’t know for sure who will collect it and what they will do with this information. Sometimes in order to hack you, your email address and date of birth can be enough. That’s why we highly recommend you to make your email address invisible in your social networks. For instance, this is how you can do it in LinkedIn: go to Settings -> click the Privacy tab -> look for How others see your profile and network information section -> click Change button -> choose Who can see your email address -> select the needed option (Only you; 1st-degree connections; 1st and 2nd-degree connections; Everyone on LinkedIn).
- Use one-time email addresses for registration at unsecure websites. If you have to sign on some suspicious service, don’t use your real email account. There are services such as Mailinator, 10minutemail, Mailforspam which can generate you a random account name. As a result, your main address will be safe and it won’t get spammed.
- Use VPN software. A virtual private network, like KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, will protect all of your sensitive information online. It creates a special “tunnel” using highly secure encryption 128-bit and 256-bit, which enchiphers all of your data and makes it gibberish for any third parties trying to grab it. That’s why even if some cyber criminal tries to compromise your email account, they won’t decode any of your data.