Email accounts are used for anything from personal emails to friends, sending important letters to your bank, or someone important.

Some people have nothing better in their life but to look into other people’s email account for money, pleasure, or personal reasons. They can put your privacy and even your life at risk (on an extreme scale), So, here are 10 easy steps to protect you and your family and friends too and help to prevent their email from being hacked:

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  1. Use a password manager and two-factor authentication wherever possible
    Use a reputable password manager to change all of your online passwords to strong, unique ones for each login. We can’t stress this enough. Hackers today use a tactic called credential stuffing, whereby they literally cram previously stolen usernames and passwords into as many online services as possible. Why? Because a lot of usernames and passwords are identical across accounts.  
    Creating a unique password for each of your online services can take some time, but it’s worth it to avoid the risk. As you set up the passwords for your accounts, also set up two-factor authentication (2FA) as an added layer of security for the accounts that offer it. This is especially important for preventing unauthorized password resets. Do the same when setting up IoT devices in your home (and look for IoT devices with 2FA support when you buy them!).  
  2. If signing up for a new email service, check for 2FA support
    Not all email providers provide 2FA.  So, when signing up with an email provider, check to see what layers of security are available such as 2FA either through SMS (less secure) or app-based such as Google Authenticator or Authy.
    The main benefit of 2FA is that it provides a second layer of security such as a text message sent to a smartphone with a one-time password. Only the person with your device can ostensibly complete a new login. Not to mention, it can inform you when someone is trying to log into your email account.  
  3. Don’t click suspicious links in emails or texts
    Phishers often send links via email or text that look legitimate, but once clicked on, allow them to steal your information. Email attachments that contain malware are also popular vessels for cyber mayhem. The easiest way to avoid these scams is by not clicking the links or attachments. Instead, open another tab, and go to the website of the company in the email or link to see if the information presented matches the official source. As a general rule, never open links or download attachments from unknown senders. Emails from known senders that contain links or attachments without any context are also bad news.  
    This will also help you catch one of the more notorious types of phishing emails—the fake password reset (for example, “Your account has been compromised! Click here to reset your login and password.”) Remember the 2016 Democratic National Convention email leak? It started as a fake password reset.  
  4. Use a VPN on your computer and your phone
    Be anonymous by using a VPN to encrypt your internet connections. There’s no reason not to when it comes to protecting your personal information. While you’re at it, the VPN will make your browsing experience even better, with fewer ads, less tracking, and, of course, more peace of mind knowing you’re secure.  
  5. Don’t use public Wi-Fi or public computers, if you can help it
    When you’re traveling or not at home, try to use the internet only through your own computer or mobile device, with your VPN turned on, of course. Public computers at hotels, for example, are accessible by other people who can put keyloggers or other malware on them, which can come back to haunt you. Wait to do your online banking or access other highly personal accounts on your protected home network, whenever possible.  
  6. Get a strong antivirus
    A good antivirus raises the bar on securing your information, with real-time protection from phishing attacks and threats like malware, ransomware, and more. Antivirus should be installed on your PC, Mac, Android phone, and other devices.  
  7. Secure your router and Wi-Fi
    Whether a home user or a small business owner, identifying who and what is on your network is as important as ever, as unauthorized users could be trying to hack into your system. Ensure you change the admin password for your router and set your Wi-Fi password to something really strong that a hacker could not crack.  
  8. Keep your computer and smartphone OS up-to-date
    Whenever a security update is released for your operating system, update it immediately. Consider this a basic tenet of information security.  
  9. Keep all of your computer and smartphone apps regularly updated
    Updates often include security improvements, so if an update is available, get it right away.
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