One will agree with the assumption that outside of social networking websites as Facebook, there is no secure means of storing the message than the email. However, it is also true that email is still based on certain old sets of protocols.
Securing the email messages in your personal computer is the need of the hour and the same can be achieved with ease, in case you pay attention to certain basic assumptions.
1.) Using separate email accounts
You must be aware of the fact that making an email address is a relatively simple process and is free to acquire, the risk can be diluted by expanding your email horizon. This essentially means that you should be having separate email accounts for your personal and professional needs. In case a hacker is able to access the personal email account, all your professional details will be in safe hands on account of you having separate email addresses.
You can add an additional security layer by having distinct addresses for unsecure and secure website registrations. It often happens that one registers with a dozen websites but only a few of these deal with sensitive information as related to banking.
If you use different email for secure sites the hackers can be distracted as they might end up having access to other accounts that link up to websites that are not much in use.
2.) Using web based email
You also need to be a bit cautious when you use the web interface to read your email. Ensure that when you read the email using web based interface as Yahoo mail, gmail and your service providers web mail reader, you need to use an HTTPS connection in place of the traditional HTTP. In this connection it is relevant to mention that Google has recently upgraded its Gmail security. It has made HTTPS its default connection type. Use Gmail to store your vital mails and ensure security of your vital data.
You can take additional measures to secure your email in the Personal Computer. When you visit any URL that links to your mail addresses, ensure that the browser displays a lock icon. This is more evident in banking and shopping site.
Using email over a simple HTTP connection often leaves the mail exposed to hackers and you should take steps to secure the same.
3.) Using email clients
For those using email readers as Apple mail or Outlook, these clients can be configured to ensure safety. As you set up the accounts, it is quite possible that you have selected IMAP or POP connections. You will be amused to know that both of these can be used in secure mode too. An option exists in account configuration and you should look for the same.
In some cases, the email client provides one the option of using the Transport Layer Security. This is usually similar to HTTPS. This essentially means that all the data passing between clients and server gets encrypted.
However, remember that only the messages in transit get encrypted and the facility does not exist for messages that might be lying in the inbox.
4.) Using webmail with utmost caution
The evolution of various webmail services, be it Yahoo mail gmail or hotmail often encourages the mail users to use them whenever the need arises and a web browser is available. One must remember that this is good enough and can cause unnecessary problem in some cases.
It must be remembered that even though you are using your personal computer, you should not be leaving any digital footprints as others too might be accessing your computer and in case someone with wrong intentions uses your computer, the data can be at risk.
The best one can do in such situations is to log out of the webmail whenever you are done for the moment. At times, even the most cautious of us forget this step and end up sharing data and mails with others.
However, a hacker with wrong intentions can easily make the most of the occasion, even if you have logged out of the webmail. A hacker only needs to copy the browser’s history and cookies in the thumb drive. This can be used at a later stage by the hacker to scan your mails and other vital information.
A solution to this problem is available too. To tide over this problem, the public browser can be switched to private mode. The same is to be done before you connect to the webmail. As you finish the browsing session exit from private mode. All the history and the cookies associated with session will be destroyed instantly.
Follow the above listed measures and your email messages will be secured.