PC Users Should Lock Down Email Accounts

There are many different ways that hackers can get into a PC. One of the most common approaches is through email. It is an easy means to trick users into giving away personal information that can be quickly used to hack into a computer. The Guilfordian reported that Guilford College’s students were falling for computer hacking attempts through email.

According to the source, hackers have been sending phony emails under the guise of Guilford’s IT help desk asking for a username and password to their school email accounts. 260 students have already had their accounts hacked and the number is continuing to grow.

These phishing attacks make it easier on the hackers to get in, as it bypasses other security measures, such as firewalls, and goes directly to the source.

“It takes too long to break encryption and passwords,” said Guilford’s CIO Craig Gray. “It’s just easier to trick people into giving you the username and password.”

Some students are blaming the number of emails that they receive from the school on a daily basis as the cause for the phishing attempts. Gray believed that account owners aren’t educated enough about the attacks to prevent them from happening. Students should be wary of any message that appears and double check the source to ensure that it is a legitimate email.

How To Secure Email
There are ways that PC owners can protect against a computer virus or hacker over email accounts. In a two-part article, The Norman Transcript contributor David Moore discussed actions that users can take to lock down their messages to prevent attacks.

One unique approach is by providing fake answers to account security questions. Correct answers to queries such as mother’s maiden name or place where a person grew up could be easily found out and used to access an email account.

Another important step in email security is by not participating in message chains. Often times these get sent over and over, accumulating email addresses from around the world, making them a prime target for hackers to get their hands on accounts so they can send their malicious emails.

Having a strong antivirus software is also a good way for people to secure their systems. System Shield from iolo technologies offers email protection in case you are not using an encrypted email application. System Shield also contains powerful anti-spyware and antivirus capabilities that regularly and automatically update with the latest threat definitions, maintaining an ever-expanding roster of specific malware signatures and suspicious behaviors to help keep your PC secure.

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UpToSpeed™ is iolo's ongoing article series written by PC experts for everyday computer users. Each article is packed with easy tips and practical advice on the latest issues affecting computers to help you get the most out of your PC.

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PC Users Should Lock Down Email Accounts