How to Protect My Email Account

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A lot of our friends have recently had their email accounts hacked. Most of the time it's usually for the purpose of sending spam. Tom & Ruth have compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks to protect yourself and your family from those who'll abuse your email account. Here's our suggestions:

  1. Use strong passwords and change it frequently, usually every 2 to 4 weeks.
  2. In your email account, add yourself as a contact using another email address that you use frequently (even your Facebook email). This way, if your email account gets hacked and sends out spam, you'll know about it FAST. In essence, this is a booby trap for the hacker which alerts you.
  3. When registering on websites, NEVER use the same password as your email account.
  4. Frequently remove all SENT messages, spam messages, and inbox items. Save these to your computer rather than online.
  5. If possible, use a Contact Manager list on your computer, rather than in your email account. Thus if your email account gets hacked, there will be NO CONTACTS there.
  6. Use a desktop password manager, such as KeePass - Classic Edition, to manage your website logon and password lists. Then every couple of weeks generate a new random password for your email account.
  7. NEVER click on a link from within a email that's requesting your email address and password. This is called "phishing" and one of the most common ways to get your email account hacked.
  8. If you don't recognize the sender of an email, proceed with caution, delete the message, and mark it as spam.
  9. And finally, if you receive unwanted email that is obviously spam, REPORT IT. The penalties and fines are high for convicted spammers, which most often includes Federal prison time.

Report Spam

METHOD 1: Forward unwanted or deceptive messages to: the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov . Be sure to include the complete spam email.

METHOD 2: Sign up with SpamCop and report all spam through them. SpamCop collects, analyzes, and notifies ISP's of SPAM abuse. Highly recommended.

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