How Hackers Can Steal an Email Account and What to Do to Avoid it

We can say that email is an essential means of communication today. It is present both among home users and also at the business level. A very agile method of being able to contact an organization, co-workers, friends … Now, the truth is that the fact of being so widely used also makes hackers set their sights here. We are going to explain how they could attack the e-mail and enter the account.

Protecting the email account is very important

Email is not simply a service to send messages to other users. The truth is that we use it for much more. It is essential to be able to register on pages and platforms, we also use it to store important information and documents and have them always available, we can send emails with important attachments …

How Hackers Can Steal an Email Account

Therefore, email is not just any service. It is very important for our day to day and in case of having a problem we could seriously compromise our privacy. Cybercriminals could also use this medium as a gateway to our devices.

If an intruder had access to our email, they could even control our social networks, services where we are registered, cloud storage … The email acts in a way as a password manager. We can remind you of the password and send us an email with a new one.

All of this makes protecting your email account critical. We must know at all times how they could access our account and what to do to be protected and not suffer any type of mishap with our e-mail.

How they can attack e-mail

First of all we are going to explain how they could attack our email account and get to access it. This is important to know the risks and later to be able to take measures to increase protection.

Phishing attacks

Undoubtedly one of the most common methods of stealing passwords and being able to access email and also many other services on the network, is through a Phishing attack . What a hacker does in this case is send a bait to the victim to put their data. However, that data actually goes to a server controlled by the attackers.

This is something that can affect all types of platforms. It could compromise our email and, as we’ve seen, put a lot more at risk than just email.

Use of malware

They can also use malicious software to infect computers and steal passwords to enter mail. Something very present are the keyloggers . It is a program that is installed on the computer and its mission is to collect all the keystrokes and thus steal the passwords.

But we can not only be victims of a keylogger, but also Trojans and other varieties of malware that can allow attackers to enter. For example Trojans, which could allow an intruder to enter through a back door.

Data breaches

Another issue to take into account is that they could enter our email account in case there is a data leak in the provider itself. It is something that can happen on a certain platform. They can take advantage of a security breach and all the data be exposed.

Brute force

A classic when it comes to breaking any password, be it email or any other service, is by brute force . It basically consists of hackers using software to test multiple passwords one after another until they find the correct one.

Using dangerous third-party applications

Where do we log in? That can also put our e-mail at risk. We can do it from the provider’s official website and from its mobile or computer application, but there are also alternatives, which are third-party programs that allow us to log in.

Now these freelance programs can be a problem. It is true that they sometimes offer interesting functions and features, but they could contain bugs and be unsafe, which would make it easier for hackers.

What to do to improve email security

We have seen how they could steal our email account and put our security and privacy at risk. The methods they could use to do this are different, but we also have options to protect ourselves and avoid being victims. We are going to give some important tips for this.

Always create strong passwords

Something fundamental is going to be having passwords that are strong and complex. After all, it is the main barrier that will prevent an intruder from entering our e-mail account. It is necessary to avoid putting keys that have personal data and that could be ascertained.

A good password is one that we cannot memorize. It has to have letters (upper and lower case), numbers and any other special symbols that we can add. All this randomly and of course not using it anywhere else.

Keep systems and applications up to date

On many occasions, vulnerabilities arise that can be exploited by hackers to carry out their attacks. They could take advantage of these errors to carry out their attacks and access the account.

This is something that must be applied both to the operating system itself and to any application that we are using. Security flaws can arise at any time and we must always have the latest versions available.

Do not use third party programs

As we said before, we can connect to our email through third-party programs. However, this could be a problem, since security problems are more frequent in these cases. We must therefore avoid accessing from sites other than the official ones .

Periodically review the configuration

Have we configured the email correctly? Are there any parameters that we should change within the program we are using? We must have all this controlled and that there is no loose end that can be exploited by an attacker to access our account.

Have safety programs

Of course we must also have security programs. There are many options we have in this regard. We can use antivirus, firewall , browser extensions … All of this can help to maintain security and make it difficult for hackers.

Keep in mind that there are both free and paid programs. There are also for all types of operating systems. We must always have our equipment properly protected.

Common sense

On the other hand, mention must be made of common sense . Perhaps the most important point to avoid security problems. For example, you must avoid downloading attachments that are not secure through e-mail or logging in from third-party links.

In short, by following these steps we can prevent intruders from entering our email account. A series of essential recommendations that we must take into account and never compromise our privacy.