Email has become an essential means of communication. It is also a juicy hacker target. Accessing your email account gives them more than just information about you; it potentially also gives them control over just about any site for which you have login credentials. Let’s say to check your balance, you want to access your bank account. Yet you have forgotten your password, and you have not written it anywhere (which is a very good thing). So, you click on the link to “recover password.” In most cases, an email with information that allows you to enter your account is sent to the email address they have in the file, usually by providing a time-limited link. Hopefully they do not give your password to your email address in plain text, but maybe some less advanced websites will do just that. In any case, if a hacker has access to your email account, all they need to do is go through the process of “recovering password” and intercept the message with login instructions to get access to your back account. They ‘re in your bank account now and the bank doesn’t have any idea it’s not you.
How do email hackers hack accounts?
Unfortunately there are a number of tools out there specifically designed to hack into many of the popular email providers. These tools are user-friendly so an attacker doesn’t even need sophisticated hacking skills.
How to guard against hacking your email account
The best defense against these tools for hacking emails is to have your password hacked. Four things you should do:
- Don’t use different places with the same password. For every account, create a unique password including your email accounts.
- Just use strong passwords. They should be long; use a variety of letters, numbers , and special characters; and use lower case and upper case letter combinations.
- Passwords alter periodically.
- Never let someone share your passwords.
What this means for website operators
If you’re a website administrator, cybercriminals could use this type of email hacking to hack their way into the back end of your site and gain administrative access to make code changes and wreak all sorts of havoc, from redirecting visitors to spamming to phishing. In addition to using the smart password strategies outlined above, you’ll also want additional protective layers on your website to prevent any kind of unauthorized activity.
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