Just as a security system for your home protects against intruders, a robust Kissimmee data…
Think a hacker can’t do damage with only your email address? The cybercrime team at our Oviedo IT services company says to think again.
We use our email addresses to communicate with friends and family, create social media accounts, do some online shopping, and set up online accounts with our financial institutions, among many other things. We think of giving out our email address as harmless. What can a hacker do with only your email address? A lot of damage, as it turns out.
Dytech Group has been protecting our users since the dawn of email, way back in the 1980s. Remember having to use a phone line and a dial-up modem connection? We’ve come a long way from those days, and so has cybercrime. Here are just a few nefarious things a hacker can do with your email address.
It’s simple for a cybercriminal to spoof your email address and send emails as if they were from you. The email address will be just a little different from yours but with an added period or a number instead of a letter, the email address looks legitimate and can lure unsuspecting recipients into clicking malicious links or downloading spyware.
Scammers can also use your email address to send you phishing emails in an attempt to get your password. They can send emails to you asking you to verify your account information or log into a fake website where they can track your keystrokes. To stay safe from phishing, you can use an anti-phishing browser extension or download security apps designed to block phishing attempts.
Access Online Accounts
What do you do when you forget your password? The same thing that a cybercriminal can do when trying to figure out yours. Click “forgot password,” then reset the password using your email address. It’s frighteningly simple to give access to everything tied to your email account to a hacker. This is why setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA) is so important. Hacking one password is relatively easy but MFA typically uses your cell phone to authenticate your account by sending a text or asking you to open an app on your phone. MFA is one of the security measures our Oviedo IT services company encourages.
Access Financial Accounts
If you have your online bank account set up with the email address that you use for everything else, hackers can easily gain access once they have your email address and password. From there, they can make transactions, use your credit cards, open up new accounts, take out loans, and more. These activities could ruin your credit score which could take years to build back up.
Cybercriminals typically need your email address and your password to steal your identity – another reason to set up multi-factor authentication – but once they have access to your online accounts, they can find documents containing other important information. Your social security number is the holy grail for identity thieves. If your email contains bank documents or employment records, your most precious identification information is right there for the taking.
How Can You Avoid These Attacks?
Our Oviedo Managed IT services company works every day to stay ahead of cybercriminals and their ever-improving sophisticated attacks. Here’s what we recommend to keep your email address and your information secure:
- Never share your primary email address that you use for account-sensitive information. Set up multiple free addresses that you can share with online retailers or other less trusted sources.
- Use an RFID wallet to block scammers from stealing your credit card information right out of your pocket.
- Set up multi-factor authentication for all of your email accounts.
- Be vigilant about your online activity. If you notice anything suspicious, change your password immediately. You can also freeze your credit through your credit bureau.
Dytech Group Wants You To Stay Protected
Our team of cybersecurity experts wants you to stay one step ahead of phishing scams, identity theft, and other methods of cybercrime. You can download our Cyber Security Essentials whitepaper to start implementing safeguards for you and your business today. And contact us with any questions about how to keep your information secure.