I am one of those people who checks my email multiple times a day. I am not someone who keep their email inboxes littered with unread promotions, random messages, and more. My email accounts (like most people, I have several) are regularly cleaned out and messages are deleted when a message is no longer relevant or is not something that I need to see. In fact, my stomach physically lurches when I see that my friends or family members have upwards of 2,000 unread messages that they never intend to look at sitting in their inboxes. At one point in my life, I asked my mom how she could collect so many emails. I was maybe 13 years old and had just created my first email account so I could (regrettably) sign up for a Facebook account. What I didn’t realize is that an email address is the most widespread way we are “online.” We use these addresses to sign up for promotions, receive information, and more. Because they are so ubiquitous, they are also an insecure means of communication.

We use our email addresses for everything and on every device. My email accounts are on my phone, my personal laptop, my work computer, and on an old iPad somewhere that hasn’t been charged in years and may not even work anymore. Moreso, we use our email accounts to communicate with clients and colleagues, receive news, shop online, and just about everything else that might require your name and a way to reach you. Because email is so widespread and so accessible, it is also insecure. Your messages are not just on your phone or computer. They are also on the recipient’s phone or computer or other device, the server, and the network (for example, Google.) If you are not using a strong password for your email accounts as well as a password for your phone or computer, it is even easier to access your emails. The best solution to keeping your emails secure is to encrypt them.

If you regularly receive messages about someone trying to access your account or a suspicious login attempt, you are not alone. Remember to keep your passwords unique and difficult to break, and encrypt any sensitive information you may be disclosing.

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