A lot of people use email every day at home or at work. We include personal or sensitive information in emails all the time, but very few of us take the proper steps to protect our email accounts. Security breaches occur on an everyday basis, while you convert email to a different server, or just through regular use.

An example of a security flaw is that messages you thought you deleted years ago are still sitting on a server somewhere. Another example is that your emails can be read while they are in transit; they can even be modified! Another way your emails may be compromised is if yourlogin name and password are stolen and used by people with no good intentions.

Here aresome more information on email security – and how you canadd an extra layer of security to your emails:

1. How Email Works

Email servers communicate using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). You can never be sure how long it will take for your message to get to the recipient. The time it takes depends on how busy the servers are. This means your message may sit in a line, possibly on a third-party server.

2. How Email is Insecure

Unless the web address to your webmail server is “https://”, then it is not secure. Thisincludes all of the information that travels between your computer and the server, including your password and user name.

Emails that are stored on SMTP servers are in unencrypted text. When they are backed up, administrators may read any of those messages. Any message that is in transit may be “eavesdropped” and read by someone with enough technical know-how.

3. How to Protect Your Email

The easiest way to protect your email is to use a provider which supports SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for their servers. SSL uses symmetric encryption keys, which guarantee that your computer and the server can securely communicate.

If you receive a warning message when connecting to a server while using SSL, don’t ignore it. These warnings could indicate a small technical problem with your provider, or it could be that your emails have been intercepted.

4. Maintenance Strategy

92% of all malicious emails contain a link that will redirect you to a site that will steal your data or infect your PC with a virus. Approximately 9% of all data-stealing attempts come from email.

Your best bet to protect yourself is to create your own comprehensive email maintenance strategy. If you don’t have the technical know-how to do this, then it is recommended that you hire a firm to create one for you.

Furthermore, if you find a company that offers to analyse suspicious emails for your business, that’s even better.

It’s important to know how email works before you attempt to protect yourself from email-based threats. Your email account may be compromisedin a variety of ways, and at any time. Therefore, the best method to secure your email involves boosting security at every level.