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How to Prevent Your E-mail Account from Getting Hacked

Updated on September 9, 2012
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Few tips to prevent your email account from getting hacked


With the advancement of technology today, we rely more and more on electronic devices, computers and the internet. Our emails are one of the most important features of the internet. It allows us to communicate across the globe for free and that is why it is the favorite targets for spammers and hackers.

The most important information needed to access your account is the username and password. Protect this information. Here some things you can do to protect your email accounts:

Be careful of what you post. Almost everything that is posted in the internet is available to everyone including spammers and hackers. Do not post your email address in public websites or forums. Spammers and Hackers scan the web space for email addresses to be put in their spam list. Once you are in their spam list, you get a lot of spam.

Never click any link in a spam mail. When you do, hackers can get valuable information from you and sometimes they can get access to your account. They do this through a process called phishing. Never under any circumstances should you click a link in a spam mail.

Use a virtual keyboard to Avoid Key loggers. Key loggers are malicious programs that log your keystrokes then send or store the information anywhere it is programmed to do. This is one of the ways hackers gain access to different kinds of accounts. When you go to a website, you type the address then type your username and password. You just gave the hacker your access codes! When using a computer you suspect to have a key logger, use a virtual keyboard so you use your mouse to type or you can use a key scrambler. You can get a virtual keyboard here.

Protect your computer from viruses. Viruses like key loggers are malicious software. The difference is not all viruses are key loggers and viruses spread. Get decent anti-virus software like AVG or Kaspersky. If you doubt your anti-virus protection you can do the one written above or you can try manually checking for viruses using the method written here: How to remove virus from an external device without an antivirus. The method was for flash drives but can be used on your hard drives. Be cautious however, do not delete SHR files in the root directory of your system drive i.e. IO.sys, ntldr, boot.ini, msdos.sys, pagefile.sys. There’s also a free virus removal kit from kaspersky.com.

When your account has already been compromised the only thing that you can do which is most effective of all is to change your password. This will stop any access hackers and spammers have in your account. After that, follow those methods suggested above so you’ll prevent your email from getting hacked.

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    • leakeem profile image
      Author

      leakeem 5 years ago from Earth

      yeah but it would protect your password though. I like using virtual keyboards when using public computers. It's pointless to use on your own since you can control you can and should clean up your computer often.

    • onlinecashdigest profile image

      onlinecashdigest 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      As to virtual keyboards...I think it would slow down work :(

    • Window Pain profile image

      Window Pain 5 years ago

      Thanks!

    • leakeem profile image
      Author

      leakeem 5 years ago from Earth

      I'm not familiar with MS essentials. I've seen bitdefender on some computers but I don't really understand what difference it does with other antivirus programs.

      Most commercial antivirus programs are good enough for protection. Unless of course you get targeted by a hacker. There is no such thing as "impossible to hack" but only hard to hack. But unless you are a high profile person, targeted hacking is unlikely. I use AVG btw, the free version and it's good enough for me.

      As a rule of thumb, you should have only one anti-virus software installed in your computer. If you install more that one, it may create some conflicts and make your system slow and/or unstable. Look for a product that has a lot of features: kaspersky, nortron, AVG premium, etc. just keep updating them.

      But anyway, the best protection you can have is caution. Be careful on what you view, visit or download. do not view or click spam mail. That's how they get access to your account. Do not post your email address, even w/o the @ sign in public pages in the internet. That's how spammers find your email. Be careful also on where you submit your email.

      So I suggest, stick with your anti-virus MS Essentials and keep it updated. If you doubt the protection it gives try kaspersky's free antivirus removal tool. There's a link in the article. Scan your pc with it and see if it finds something MS essentials can't find.

    • Window Pain profile image

      Window Pain 5 years ago

      Thanks!

      I never heard of a virtual keyboard before.

      I'm using Microsoft Essentials, on the recommendation of my IT guy. I bought Bitdefender, but he told me to uninstall it and that MS Essentials is better.

      Your thoughts?

      Werner