Security: Secure your damn email

With the world moving more and more into the interhighway one of the biggest breeches of privacy is simply your email.

Security: Secure your damn email

I've struggled recently with the decision of locking my privacy down a little more than usual. With the world moving more and more into the interhighway one of the biggest breeches of privacy is simply your email. Email is used for almost any kind of membership on the internet, and it all comes back to one location. If people have access to that your entire world can be played out from the data in your email.

Using the information from your email addresses, even simply who sent you something is useful data. It shows that you have come in contact with that brand or person before. Tracking similar brands to that they can then enhance marketing campaigns. For example, if you purchased a dog bowl from website A then website B gets the data that you bought a new dog bowl therefore you probably have a pet. Then maybe this will send you an email on this new sale they have on dog food.

It's not just the to and from information. It's almost anything connected to your email without two-factor authentication. If I can log into your email, I can then do password resets on your other accounts. Then I can get into your Amazon account or whatever shopping website you use. All your precious steam games could be stolen as well. Even though it's incredibly likely you can get the damage reversed why would you take the risk.

Your email privacy is only as secure as the provider. It's quite common to see some of their businesses being hacked and they did not encrypt the passwords and user names. The hacker then takes and logs into your account and off they go. Now why a hacker would hack a massive organization then use your email out of the breached data I don't know.  Maybe they are selling and someone else did who knows, but my point is if your terrible internet service provider gets hacked and you use their email addresses for yours then you're in trouble.

Before creating a new email with a different provider, you should check and see what their privacy policies are. I think you'll be surprised by the results. If the provider is selling your information then you need to worry even less about hackers. The company is willing selling your information, so why are you using their services. There are other companies with free email addresses you can use with a good privacy policy.

If you don't have your email behind two-factor by now you really should be looking into it. Two-factor should be on everything you own if you care about it. It's such an easy thing to set up and really help keep others out of your data. Two-factor by text message or phone call is some of the worst. It's apparently quite simply to have a customer service representative change your phone number to a new Sim. This means the hacker just gained your phone number. You will want to use a two-factor set up such as Microsoft's Authenticator, or a smaller operation like Authy. I personally like Authy, but Microsoft is a close second.

We are finally in the year 2020 and I still have to tell people not to reuse passwords. Recently someone I know got there Google Account hacked. They reused the password on a site that then was breached. They didn't secure the password so they hackers were able to use it and get into her Google account and lock her out. The issue is it's quite difficult to recover a Google account compared to some other accounts. There are tons of horror stories on trying to recover a Google account. Luckily, our experience with the Google support was quite good. There is no direct number for you to call, but the process was simple. We had to wait a bit longer than we wanted to for a response. I believe it was under two days, but when your primary email address is hacked it's scary. I highly recommend using something like Bitwarden. It will store your stored passwords and also generate new ones for you. This way your passwords can be gibberish with numbers and special characters and you don't need to remember it. Since you don't need to remember it you can just keep generating different ones. This way when someone in North Carolina finds your password from a public dump and then matches it to your dominos account at 8 PM on a Thursday they won't be able to login because the password is different.

Securing your email address is one of the first steps to securing your digital life. Following that getting two-factor authentication done on as much as you can will really help if your information does get leaked. One password breach doesn't endanger your other accounts, so you only have to change one password not 50.