Hi. Craig Peterson here with a blink into using webmail securely.
The first free Webmail email services started in 1996. Remember Hotmail and Rocketmail? My friend Gary still uses Hotmail.
Today, the most popular Webmail service is gmail, followed by outlook.com.
But free doesn’t mean free. You’re paying for it with a lack of privacy, because you are the product. These free email services are mining your emails looking to develop data that they can sell to advertisers, political campaigns, and even governments.
Although free email services are convenient for sending personal correspondence, you should not use them to send messages containing sensitive or business information.
Gmail, Hotmail, and others provide you with:
Easy accessibility and plenty of competitive features
Some offer large amounts of storage, spam filtering, virus protection, and enhanced fonts and graphics to lure people in.
But there are risks to your security, privacy, and reliability
Hackers spent months with full access to Outlook, Hotmail, and MSN email accounts—and got in through Microsoft’s customer support platform.
Remember, You aren’t paying for your email account, but the service provider has to find some way to recover the costs of providing the service thru selling advertising space, and selling or trading information
Although you may be able to access your account from any computer, you need to make sure that the account is going to be available when you want to access it
Tips for Securing Webmail Applications
Use a password that is robust and unique
Never reuse passwords. Once you use a password as part of a credential login on one site, using it on another website is not recommended.
Using a password manager is highly recommended. My preference is 1Password.
However, if you choose not to use a password manager, then at least create a strong and unique password for your email account.
Use two-factor authentication
One most effective steps you can take to improve the security of your email is to use two-factor authentication.
You will be required to use a unique code when you sign in to your account on a new or untrusted device. An individual code gets sent over an app installed on your smartphone or via text message.
Something you know and something you have is what makes two-factor authentication a more secure credential.
Using this type of credential can protect your account from being accessed, even if someone gets your password.
Do not share your password with anyone.
I mean no-one. You never know when you will have a falling out might want the information you have in your account.
Don’t access your sensitive accounts over open public Wi-Fi
It is still a rule to consider the following
It applies to any confidential information that you want to protect, not just email.