Email Password Security

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Customer Support Email Password Security

Email Password Security

Chances are you've heard that you need a good, strong password for sensitive information like bank accounts and credit cards - really anything to do with money. Have you considered what else you need a secure password for? Email might not seem to rank high on that list as you might think "What's the worst they can do - read my email? Who would want to do that." Well, a lot of people might considering your email probably contains login information you've received from sites throughout the net and personal information that can be used to crack other passwords you might have. However, you're right that most people won't want to sit and read it unless you're running for office.

What they will do, however, can be just as bad. If your email password isn't secure, one of those fun people out there who make our internet life just that much more interesting can use your email account login to verify themselves to a server, thus bypassing several layers of protection. Suddenly, you're receiving tons of fan mail from Server Daemon and Postmaster telling you that the user you tried to email can't be found and your email has been returned to you. But wait - you didn't send any email to that person. You didn't, but a spammer did using your account.

No bouncebacks? Maybe you're also finding that you can't send mail to people at Yahoo, Comcast, etc. This is because either your email address, the domain its coming from, or its IP address has been flagged by Yahoo/Comcast/etc as a spam account and they are filtering your email out to reduce the amount of spam their users receive. Congratulations, your account is now blacklisted. You can request that you be removed from this list so you can send email again to your friend with the Yahoo email address, but if you don't fix the root of the problem, chances are it will happen again... and again. Each time, you'll probably find it's harder and harder to get yourself off that list.

What do you do? Do you know what your password is? Have you set your email program to remember it and forgot all about it? Did you never set it yourself? Change your password. Not tomorrow, next week, or next quarter. Now.

Six Steps to a Secure Password

  1. Include both lower case and capital letters.
  2. Use numbers in your password.
  3. Use special characters like *, !, -, & _.
  4. Make it longer than six characters.
  5. Make sure you can remember it.
  6. Make sure it isn't memorable to other people.

Five Steps to a Spammer-Friendly Password

  1. Make your password abcd, 1234, or some combination of the above.
  2. Use only lowercase letters with no numbers or symbols for your password.
  3. Use a common password such as:
    • 12345 (or 12345678...)
    • abc123
    • password
    • test
    • admin
    • qwerty
  4. Make your password the same as your username, first name, last name, child's name, dog's name, etc.
  5. Place your password on your monitor with a sticky note.