Tips to protect your email accounts
The recent revelations not confirmed the theft of 1200 million email passwords together with the recent filtration of 5 million accounts and some of the key elements of Gmail returned to doubt the effectiveness of this safety feature. And not without reason, since this point is the most vulnerable to cyber attacks that seek not damage computer systems, they have targeted the personal information of users.
Classic safety tips are valid, such as building a strong password with a length of eight characters that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Also serve long sentences that contain these features are used, and are much easier to remember. Even so does the theft of them, of course. Nothing is foolproof.
However, the email account serves as a gateway to various social networks and online services such as home banking or access to the platform for buying and selling items, and as such requires many more mechanisms to keep their safety.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are three of the major technology companies that are spread over one billion accounts that exist around the world to 2012: Gmail and Yahoo! Mail have 425 to 302 million, according to figures from 2012. On part Outlook.com has about 420 million, of which 60 million were added in the last redesign of the webmail at the beginning of 2013.
Whichever account is used, each offering additional features that enable even more secure access to email account. Not everything depends on the password, and if this first barrier is breached, there are other resources to stop computer criminals.
Update personal data
No point in entering apocryphal data in the account profile that we will never remember. At least one alternate email address and a valid phone should be available in webmail services that we use. In case of being victims of a theft of an account, Gmail verification and recovery systems, Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail are based on these data.
Also provide a cell phone number serves as a quick recovery mechanism from a stolen account, and to strengthen access to e-mail using the verification system in two steps.
Verification system in two steps
The three major email platforms offer this feature, which requires an additional code alongside the traditional access through a password.
Once activated, operation is very simple: send a text message through a series of numbers that prompted the email system after entering the password.
Also the code of the two-step verification system is synchronized with servers of the respective suppliers, and if one is outside the coverage area you can use applications that allow having the respective codes, something very useful when we are travel and do not want to activate the roaming of the smartphone.
For these cases, Gmail and Outlook.com have their own authentication applications. In both cases is basically a code generator having a validity period of a few seconds. Once activated the two-step verification system, it synchronizes with the server of the company, and this is what allows provision of codes even though we do not have a mobile coverage to receive text messages with complementary security numbers with a password.
In addition, this system also provides support for applications and services that do not support the entry of a password and a security code. This generates passwords of applications, with an extension of more than 10 random characters with letters and numbers to use defined situations: access to an account of email from a mobile phone or tablet, an app store entry, use of the account for console video games or other similar situations.
Thus, each time you access the account from a mobile device or unknown computer, the system will request the special code.
Activating the verification system in two steps
From Gmail, you can start from the very good online tutorial available at www.google.com/2step. It can also be activated from www.google.com/settings/security.
In Outlook.com configuration can be done from account.live.com/proofs/Manage with the respective Microsoft account, while Yahoo! Mail has the adjustment verification from edit.yahoo.com/config/eval_profile.