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Protecting E-mail Passwords

The one thing most people completely underestimate is the value of their personal webmail accounts. You think your bank or web store is important? Well, have you ever noticed those oh-so-helpful "Forgot my password" functions? What do they do when you click that? They send you your password or they reset it at the least. Either way, if someone gets access to your e-mail account, they completely control everything you have on the Internet.

With access to someone's e-mail account, I can get to almost every other account they have online.

Besides the security risks, what about all your personal information? How many e-mails do you store online and how many years back do they go? Information about friends, family, business contacts; all things a bad guy who wants to do you harm could use.

Maybe you have a medical condition or a secret of some kind. Someone can use that for blackmail. What if they don't do anything that sinister and just impersonate you instead? If they send a virus from your account or scam your family into thinking you need money, chances are that your contacts will fall for it since it appears to have come from you.

That's why it's important to make sure that your e-mail account has one of your strongest passwords among your online accounts (if not THE strongest).

Read my passwords guide to learn what makes a good password and how to keep it safe!

E-mail Dangers

Until we find out who the people are who actually buy things from spammers and kick them off the Internet, you're going to have to learn how to deal with and prevent spam.
E-mail Viruses - Learn how viruses are spread through e-mail and how to stop them
Phishing - Spot and avoid lures that pull you into the dark side of the web
Don't be one of those people that loses thousands of dollars to the classic Nigerian Scam.

E-mail Etiquette

Use CC only when necessary and BCC the rest of the time.
Use Reply-All when you mean to and never when you don't.
Practice proper E-mail Forwarding to protect privacy and make e-mails more readable.
Always personalize your e-mails to make it obvious to your recipient that it's valid.

E-mail Tips and Tricks

Using E-Mail Aliases Properly - Be careful about using sensitive data (like your real name) in an e-mail account.
Remember to treat your e-mail account with the security it deserves.
Use a decoy e-mail account to keep your main e-mail account free of spam.
Avoid using any Internet provider's default e-mail.

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2 Comments to “Protecting E-mail Passwords”

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Wouldn’t the password reset link just be sent to the email listed?

    My point is that if your main e-mail is compromised, all other accounts will send password reset information to it. Meaning that I have control of EVERYTHING you do online if I have your main e-mail. I might need to clear that up in my description above.

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