Saturday, May 24, 2008

Guard the password to your email account.

Few of my friends had the experience of losing their email password. Losing your email is equivalent of losing your online identity and could lead to severe impact towards your life.

Losing the password to your email should not be seen as a trivial matter. You should be extremely careful of not losing your password to any of your email accounts.

Imagine this scenario. Another person managed to get the password to your email. There are several things that they can do to your email.
  1. Change the password which will prevent you from using that email. After this, they can use your email for spamming to anyone in your address book / contact. Imagine how surprised your friends will be when receiving spam email from your email. This is certainly will not help building good reputation about you for a while. However, this is only a temporary effect and can be resolved by telling your friends what has happened to your email account.

  2. Using your email to gain access to other important accounts which are related to your email. This is a serious consequence that you need to consider. If there is one thing that you should remember from this post, this is the one.

    If the hacker has enough information about you, they can hack your online bank account. They can tell the bank that you have forgotten your password to the online bank account. The bank will send the new password to the email which has already been hacked. Then, the hacker will be able to access your online bank account and stole money from your own bank account. This scenario can also be applied to credit card and various online services around the internet.

    To make things easier, sometimes the inbox is filled with emails containing passwords and you may not realised this until it is too late!
Losing the password to your email should be taken seriously and email should not be seen only as a tool to send or receive message. Losing your email has serious consequence.

Ways to prevent from losing your email password

1. Don't ever give out your password to anyone or type it on the internet. When a social website asks you to provide your email username and password; for them to inform all of your friends in your address book, STOP. This is equivalent of handing the key of your safe to the thief directly. Hackers can use this method to gather lots of passwords in a short amount of time. Even if the website seems credible and has good reputation, you will never know when the site will be hacked. A good social website should not ask their users to provide access to the email account for advertising their website.

2. Use a strong password. Use a combination of numbers and letters. Choose a password that is unique and known only to you. If you suspect the password is known to someone else, change the password immediately. A good practice is to change email password regularly but this could lead to difficulty of memorising the new password.

3. Improve the security of your computer. Defend you computer from being invaded by hackers, spyware, virus and various malwares with strong firewall, virus and anti-spyware. There are lots of good free anti-virus or anti-spyware available around the internet. Use them.

4. Practise good surfing habit. Don't visit any suspicious websites that may contain spywares that could gather lots of info from your computer including your password. Surf wisely and beware of any attempt to hack into your own computer.

5. Knowledge. Educate yourself in term of the danger of identity theft. Hacking techniques evolve over time and you should be one step ahead of them. Read a lot and be careful of your surfing habit.

I hope this post has illustrate the danger of losing the password to your email account.

Related link: How good is your password?

UPDATE 5/6/2008: Added related link.


Anonymous said...

huhu. kdg bukan sy lupa password. tapi, asyik tertukar je. sbb byk akaun yg dh register, dan setiap akaun guna password lain2. so, paham2 jelah... huhu.

hafiz238 said...

susah juga kalau ada banyak password untuk pelbagai akaun tu. mungkin kena kurangkan jumlah akaun atau guna password yang sama untuk beberapa akaun yang tidak penting.