Delson Computer of Charleston recently helped Dan Lorentz of ERA Tides Realty on Folly Road James Island. All of Dan’s e-mail unexpectedly disappeared and Dan was concerned his account got hijacked.
When an issue like this occurs we first have our client re-gain control of their email and change their password to something no one can guess. Generally we recommend a phrase, not a dictionary word, preferably at least 14 characters with letters, numbers, special characters, etc.
We then have our client check their alternate email address on account – this is the one they use when setting up the account. Sometimes hackers alter this to their own email address to later regain access; so we often have our client change it back or use a different email address. We do the same thing for any of the security challenge questions that may have been setup – the questions and answers should be changed.
We update the PC’s security by performing Windows and other necessary updates, install anti-malware software and scan for viruses; if appropriate, we also suggest the client contact everyone in email about the situation, especially if they suspect unauthorized emails went out.
Sloppy hackers may inadvertently leave email sent in the sent folder that can be used as evidence in an electronic complaint/criminal investigation that can be filed at www.ic3.gov.
For folks seeking proactive solutions to hacking, many email providers like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc support SSL which encrypts email traffic making it more difficult for hackers to “see” your email coorespondance.
If a client sends sensitive info, it’s a good idea to encrypt which can be accomplished several ways. Some versions of Outlook have built-in encryption and there are other solutions such as PGP’s DesktopHome, Thunderbird Enigmail, LockNote, etc.
There are numerous ways to beef up email security that won’t break the bank and are prudent for folks that are on the go like travelers, salespeople, students, etc that may use open wi-fi spots like coffee shops, airports, libraries, etc. to check their email.
Delson Computer in Charleston SC has over 25 years experience and is available at 843.276.6551 to answer questions you may have regarding email or any computer related question you may have. Call us today at 276.6551!