Email hacking is a very common practice. I was amazed at the number of sites offering to teach you how to hack someone’s email. This is a terrible practice and not only is it an invasion of privacy, it can be used for a variety of illegal practices.
In Today’s News: “Decision Against Appeal By Attorney In Palin Email Hack” as reported on NewsChannel5.com, a young man was found guilty of hacking Sarah Palin’s email account during the presidential campaign. His sentence can be 21 months in prison! This is certainly no laughing matter. For those folks who’ve had their email hacked… there’s nothing funny about that. What can you do to prevent your email from being hacked?
1. Never give out personal or account information in an email.
Most email accounts are hacked by “phishing”. Phishing occurs when you receive an email from what appears to be a legitimate site asking you to click links or enter personal/private information. NEVER do this, because if you do, you’ve just given the hacker the personal information he needs to access your accounts, such as bank or credit card details.
These hackers can be very smart and work hard to make the “phishing site” look like the legitimate website. If you receive an email from your bank asking you to click on a link within the email…don’t. If it asks for account information…don’t. If you know your bank’s website address, type it into your browser. Then log in and you will see if there are any messages for you. Any legitimate bank will never ask you for personal account details in an email. Alternatively, you can call your bank, using the telephone number on your statement or in your address book. Never use that on email.
2. Use an Internet browser equipped with “phishing filters”. A phishing filter is a software program that works to identify fraudulent websites that attempt to impersonate legitimate sites. Firefox and Windows 7 are just two of the browsers that incorporate phishing filters.
3. Check for filters in your email account. For example, if you use Gmail, you can log in and go to your settings and then check your filters. See if you recognize them as the ones you set. If not, get rid of it.
4. Never click on links within an email unless you know the page it is directing you to. I found a very useful tool called ‘Cooliris’ and it’s a plugin that allows you to preview a page without clicking on the link. Not only does it prevent you from clicking on a link you don’t want to go to, but it also saves time by not having to open another web page or tab to view the link’s landing page.
Here is a link to download Cooliris http://www.coolpreviews.com/firefox/options-firefox.php.
Remember, hackers usually access our emails when we open the door for them. Be careful and careful when clicking on links within emails when you are unsure of them in any way.
Here’s how you can help prevent email hacking.