Simple Steps to Make Your Free Email Safe

emailEmail is a vital part of your online identity. Everyone in this day and age has to have one. It’s the first step to social networking, online shopping, pay pal, subscribing to newsletters and updates, contacting clients, banking and the list goes on. So in short, whether you’re a teenager who uses email just for the sake of having a Twitter account or a marketing manager for a company sending out important brochures, you really can’t make do without having an email account.

The problem is email security. It is just too easy to break into an email account, for instance with a simple keylogger. No one wants theirs hacked even if it exists for the sole purpose of receiving an e-paper. The fact remains that it is a virtual niche one has created for their own needs and having that taken away is not a pleasant experience. Explains why so many are uneasy when it comes to employee monitoring software for emails at work. Since the recent Hotmail security flaw which caused innumerable accounts to be compromised, email security is not to be taken so lightly.

Until free web services decide to strengthen their security, here are two simple steps people can take other than having to resort to paid email services.

Spread Yourself Around

The best way to secure your email address is to make sure that you aren’t dependant on just one email account, which means that instead of having all your information concentrated on one all important ID, have your information stored on different accounts for different purposes. For e.g, a personal email for friends and family and a work email account for all professional contacts. This way even if your place of work has employee monitoring software installed on their devices, your personal information is separately contained and hence safe. Various email readers can be used to check multiple accounts at the same time such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc saving you from the hassle of having to check them one by one. All it requires is you to break out of your monogamous relationship with your single prized email account.

Think Past the Password

Your password is obviously the pivot point of your email security. We all know that passwords should be uncommon strings of letters and numbers only you would be able to guess. So that also means they shouldn’t be blatantly obvious and should include cap locks with variations. So much emphasis on making passwords ‘strong’. But the truth is at the end of the day if your computer has malware or phone even a keylogger app installed, the password you took such pains and time to conjure up will be picked up and used before you even know it. So what should you do? It’s simple and should be a part of your OS maintenance regime if it isn’t already. Keep your OS clean and bug free by using anti-spyware and anti-malware tools. There are a myriad of free tools available online such as Windows Security Essentials, AVG, Spybot Search, and many more.

Try these simple steps out and then feel a little more secure about the state of your email. Just because most web based free email accounts are somewhat lax on the security front does not mean that you have to be. Nor is there a need to empty your wallet out. And that’s the best free advice anyone can give.

Jane Andrew is the author of employee monitoring software and keystroke logger technology. She provides tips, tricks about cell phone security and privacy. You can also follow her on Twitter @janeandrew01 to get the latest tips about cell phone and computer security.

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