Healthy Passwords



Email May Be Your Most Important Password

Date: 2011-06-28 11:45:06

Ken Klein, Healthy Passwords
June 28, 2011 11:40 AM EDT

Did you know your email account may be the most important account you have?

When hackers get your email login, they can sit back and watch your email. If they are patient, they will see what banks you use and what friends you correspond with. They will slowly learn your daily habits. When the time is just right, they can strike.

The classic email hack is when someone gets access and immediately send email to every person in the address book. They impersonate you, claiming to be out of the country traveling, robbed and asking for a wire transfer. Most of your friends and associates won’t fall for this trick any more.

When a smart criminal gains access to email, they don’t immediately act. They sit back and watch a while. Most people book travel online and get the details in email. If they wait to they see you’re on vacation. They can then easily send the email to all your friends and sound very credible. They know where you went, when you left, when you got there. If your friends know you just went to Aruba and the next morning they see an email from you saying you were robbed, are stranded, and need a wire-transfer, they’re likely to run to western union right away.

When you lose your password and click “forgot my password”, how is the account reset? For most things they send a temporary password to your email account. If someone has your email account, they can easily start forgetting passwords and getting access to your important things. Luckily, most financial institutions have stopped using email as a primary password reset. But many other sites still use it.

If you want an easy way to secure your email, try using 2-step authentication. It’s only offered by a few email providers. Google is the biggest. We have step-by-step directions at Healthy Passwords.

Do you have a story to share or good idea on this topic? Please share if you do.


Category: Email

Subcategory: Passwords

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