Email hacking is a very common practice. I was amazed at how many sites offer 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: “Attorney’s Appeal Decision at Palin Email Hacking” As reported on NewsChannel5.com, a young man has been convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin’s email account during the presidential campaign. Your sentence can be 21 months in jail! This is certainly no laughing matter. For those people who have had their email hacked … it’s not fun at all. What can you do to prevent your email from being hacked?
1. Never provide personal or account information in an email.
Most email accounts are hacked for “phishing.” Phishing is 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 have just given the hacker the personal information they need 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 a legitimate website. If you receive an email from your bank and it asks you to click on a link within the email … don’t do it. If it asks you for account information … don’t do it. If you know the website address of your bank, enter it in your browser. Then log in and you will see if there are any messages for you. No legitimate bank will ever ask for your personal account details in an email. Alternatively, you can call your bank, using the phone number listed on your bank statements or in the phone book. Never use the email one.
2. Use an Internet browser that has “phishing filters”. A phishing filter is a software program that works to identify fraudulent websites that are trying to represent legitimate sites. Firefox and Windows 7 are just two of the browsers that incorporate phishing filters.
3. Look for filters in your email account. If, for example, 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 up. If not, get rid of it.
4. Never click on links within an email unless you know the page it takes you to. I found a very useful tool called ‘Cooliris’ and it is a plugin that allows you to preview a page without clicking the link. Not only does it prevent you from clicking on a link you don’t want to go to, it also saves you time by not having to open another web page or tab to see the link’s landing page.
Here is a link to download Cooliris http://www.coolpreviews.com/firefox/options-firefox.php.
Remember, hackers often access our emails when we open the door for them. Please be vigilant 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.