Emails and Cyber security

Free email accounts provided by services like Google, Yahoo, Rediffmail or Hotmail are very useful for correspondences. They have the largest number of users around the world. Not only do these free email providers make sharing of emails easier but they also provide additional features such as sharing anything in the form of attachments, more storage space, spam filtering and protection from certain kinds of viruses.

Because these are free accounts, online cyber security in Singapore is not guaranteed at all times. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while downloading, opening or sharing emails and attachments.

Verify source – Always check the source of the mail. If the sender’s address is not familiar or trustworthy, it is best not to open that attachment. Spam emails or Spoof emails should at best be deleted without opening. If the email looks suspicious do not open it at any cost.

Keep software updated – Use reliable anti-virus software, malwares, and spywares on your computer. Update these continuously so that the protection provided by them is always up to date. Activate firewalls to get internet protection. Enable the option of automatically updating these anti-viruses on your operating system.

Cancel automatic downloads – Many email providers provide their users with the option of automatically downloading email attachments. If possible turn off this option. This would prevent viruses from affecting your computer.

Save and Scan – Always scan any kind of an attachment before opening or downloading it on to your computer. Scan the file using your computer’s own anti-virus software. Remove any viruses detected and then open the attachment.

Use separate accounts – It is advisable to have separate accounts for different purposes. Have an account for exchanging business emails and another for exchanging correspondences with your family and friends. Because business emails are sent by outsiders and from different service providers, they are more likely to have viruses that can affect your computer.

Use additional security – An effective way of maintaining email security is using certain filters and marking certain unwanted emails as ‘spam’. Block certain addresses to reduce spam emails. The spam tagging feature helps the user to review suspected emails before deleting them. Once marked as spam, those emails will not be delivered to your account as primary mail.

Be careful – Lastly, be a careful and considerate user. Do not share your details (password, email id) with anyone and everyone. Also do not share suspicious emails.

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