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Protecting Your Email Accounts

My dad wasn’t getting his personal email for a few days and thought it was because his service was down. We found otherwise, and he wasn’t the only victim. The message here is: Pay attention to oddities.

One of my dad’s symptoms of an email problem was that he wasn’t getting any messages. Unfortunately, that symptom doesn’t raise too many eyebrows these days because he figured a server was down – again.

But when the problem continued, he called, and we logged in to discover that his email was being forwarded to a Gmail account. We were able to re-secure his account, and it was one of those “no harm, no foul” situations this time. Next time, he might not be lucky.

But my dad wasn’t the only victim of an email invasion. One of our clients with an international business discovered that for a couple of days, all of their email was going into the “deleted” folder. They were expecting to have money wired in, so the email problem put them on heightened alert.

When we investigated, we found that they had been hacked and that hackers had added a rule to their email system that sent messages to the “deleted” folder and also forwarded the messages to an email address they had set up.

Both instances point out the need to be vigilant – and to follow safety precautions we’ve mentioned many times before.

  1. Make sure you have a strong password.
  2. Use long passwords that include upper- and lower-case letters, numerals and special characters.
  3. Change your password periodically.
  4. Never put information such as Social Security and bank account numbers in emails. They’re so easy to get picked off by hackers.
  5. Avoid sending emails that have umpteen thousand addresses in the “To” and “Cc” lines. It’s very easy for hackers to insert their own email address into someone else’s name and start a phishing expedition that could reel in sensitive, private information.

If you notice something funky about your email, get in touch with us right away. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to help secure your email.