One way or the other, each one of use the Internet, and besides the social platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, etc., communications over the internet is done via email. E-mail means electronic mail, just like your normal written letters, but now written electronically instead of on paper. Emails are not just for idle chatting, but can be used while dealing on major issues such as financial dealings, legal contracts and conduct of professional meetings, etc. An Email account is usually your first identity online. you, therefore, need to protect your identity online to avoid impersonation, but it is sometimes difficult to get internet users to pay attention to their online security.
It has always been held that the internet can never be 100% foolproof, but you can minimize this. In every email transactions, there are many stops before it gets to the receiver. It might appear to be just from the sender to the receiver, but it involves more than that. Whenever you click ‘SEND’ it goes to your Mail transfer agent, MTA – ( The protocol by which the email servers communicate is called SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), while the email server software is known as the MTA or Mail Transfer Agent. This then goes to the internet, from the Internet to the recipient’s MTA, from there to his inbox. There are more activity that goes on, but this is just a summary of the process. Looking at all the bus stops, your mail can be intercepted any of these junctions, so you need to keep hackers bay.
Below are Four steps you can take to securely send and receive emails without the possibility of losing your privacy and confidential information:
- Avoid Sending emails over Unencrypted Connections
An encryption connection simply means a secured connection of relaying data and traffic over the Internet. One thing you should avoid is carrying out important and confidential transactions on email via wifi public connections. Public connections are not safe because a third party can have access to your information. Endeavor to check if your connection is secure by looking at the bar where url is typed. If it shows green with this sign (Https) then it is secured. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
- Check before opening Links from strange emails
As online marketing has become the in-thing, you find that you keep receiving unsolicited mails asking you to click on links. Most of this links are scams. What marketers do is to collect or buy email addresses of people that showed similar interest while searching online for different things and then send them emails in bulk. There is a software for this. Recently i began receiving strange emails telling me to meet up with rich married women. Now this is a phishing mail. so watch out.
- Do not Keep Just One Email Account
This is not like the pride of having one phone number for a long time that most of us have. You should not have only one email address. This is because you can not be using the same email for your official transactions, such as using the same email you use for social platforms and chatting for your banking operations. This is wrong and dangerous. Always endeavor to have a work email, social platform email and then, a private email.
- Regularly review your connected Devices
there may be times when you are away from our personal phone, or out of data and need to check on something. You then, either use a cyber cafe or someone else’s phone to log into your account. Whenever you happen to go back to your primary device, try and review your connected devices, and log out of all the ones you are not using. Gmail sends you a notification whenever you use a new device to log in which is a good security measure.
And the list goes on. Remember the internet world can never be completely foolproof. The American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had her email hacked into and confidential information were made public and it almost affected her presidential race, if it still will not at the end of the day. You might be surprised that a careless act can mar you someday. So be careful.
What other steps do you think one can take to be safe and secure when sending emails? Tell us below using the Comment box.