Former CIA Director David Petraeus utilized a clever technique to hide his online communications with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, who was, apparently, also his mistress.To ensure that their messages couldn’t be intercepted, they didn’t sent messages to one another. Instead, they shared a Gmail account and saved their messages in the draft folder, The Washington Post reported.
This method is utilized not only by clever teenagers, but also by terrorists, such as the members of al-Qaida.
However, as experts from security firm avast! highlight, “nothing stays private for very long on the interwebs.” That’s because even if email accounts are not illegally breached, service providers such as Google and Yahoo! are often asked by authorities to hand over user information.
Although the emails of regular users don’t pose a risk to national security, experts offer some valuable advice in order to keep their information private.
First of all, internauts must use strong passwords to protect their accounts. If you find it too difficult to remember difficult passwords, you can always turn to password manager apps, such as avast! EasyPass.
Another important recommendation is to utilize a second email address for creating new accounts and newsletters.
“It’s good to use a secondary email address so if the website shares it with marketers or third parties, without your permission, your primary email account will not be flooded with spam or potentially malicious emails,” avast’s Deborah Salmi explained.
In many cases, email account breaches occur because their owners forget to log out of them when using public computers. Be sure to close all your accounts when using shared devices.
Finally, many spam emails come with a piece of malware attached to them. If users click on shady links and open suspicious attachments, they can end up with a malicious element that can easily steal passwords and other sensitive information.
Always act with caution and always ensure that an antivirus product is running in the background when you surf online.