How to Improve Email Security?

In today’s world, email is the most preferred means of communication. From small and medium-sized enterprises to high-level government offices, email is the ideal form of communication. This also means that there is a lot of confidential data and information shared through this channel. Hence making it vulnerable to attacks and making email security and safety a prime concern among users. In recent times, many data thefts and attacks have led to a growing concern regarding the privacy and security of emails as it carries a lot of sensitive data. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost; there are multiple steps you can take to ensure the safety of emails.


Traditionally, email security reinforces the existing basic level security by using different software that gives multi-layered scrutiny. But rather than entirely relying on software to secure your email, there are several steps you can take by yourself to make sure that you don’t fall victim to a digital attack. It’s important to understand that email security, though very trivial, should be taken seriously to keep not just your email safe but also your business secured from external attacks.

SSL certificates are your best allies

The threat of hacking and malicious attacks is growing daily, and emails are at the most risk. To make emails more secure and resistant to digital attacks, you should focus on SSL certificates (S/MIME certificates in particular). By installing an SSL certificate, you warrant that every communication between the server and browser stays encrypted and safe from any external threat or attack.

Also Read: 7 Ways to Make Your Website Look More Trustworthy

As the name suggests, a Secure Socket Layer certificate works side-by-side with the HTTP protocol to give a more secure- HTTPS protocol. SSL certificate providers also offer S/MIME certificates. An email signing certificate or S/MIME certificate makes it possible for users to digitally sign their emails and encrypt their data at rest, including text and attachments, and ensure that only the intended recipient can decrypt the contents of the mail.

A complex password to save the day

Employing “PASSWORD” as your password is quite honestly inviting an attack. To make your emails more secure, it’s essential to have something complex to your passwords, like a special character or a unique number. A complex password ideally means that it should not be difficult for you to remember. It should be complicated with a special character so that it becomes difficult for the bot to crack your password. By adding unique characters or symbols, you can strengthen your password. Moreover, you can use caps for specific characters or alphabets to increase complexity and make things much more difficult for hackers. To put it very simply, make sure that your email password is around 14-17 characters long, including special characters and symbols.

Make sure to sign your emails digitally

Some emails are routine. However, some emails carry confidential information. In the case of emails that contain classified or personal data, it’s crucial to sign them digitally. By adding a digital signature, you’re adding a layer of security to your email.

Open attachments with utmost care

Sure, email attachments are vital, but they are the biggest threat to your system. That’s why it’s essential to scan every attachment in your email to ensure your data’s safety. Email attachments, especially from unknown senders, can have viruses, malwares, and other malicious programs that compromise your system’s security. Statistically, nine out of ten viruses or malware get on to computers via attachments. Therefore, make sure to scan all attachments you receive from both known and unknown senders.

Shuffle your passwords

Your password is the primary protection that keeps your data safe from hackers and attackers’ evil motives. A password acts like your personal lock and key keeping anyone you don’t trust out of your email. But though passwords are your first step in email security, you must keep updating your passwords. Having the same password makes it very easy for an attacker to break into the email and compromise your and your organizations’ data. When the hacker steals your password, they get access that is needed to your data, and eventually, they can control all your credentials. This becomes even easy for the hacker if you have the same password for an extended period. Most cyber attackers employ bots and algorithms to do their dirty work for them, which means having the same password for, say, one year becomes very easy to crack. The bottom line is to keep changing your passwords frequently to keep your email safe and secure.

The more emails, the better

Why keep just one email for everything? Having just one email account not only helps the attacker get access to ALL your data but also hurts your email security. The other factor is that not only is it a significant risk, it also leaves you with no other option for data or email recovery in case of an attack. Try using multiple emails and not putting all your emails in just one centralized or common inbox. You might have noticed that a lot of big-time email services would ask for a backup email address. This is because if your primary email gets compromised, you can still save your data using your backup or secondary email account. It doesn’t matter if your auxiliary email account is with the same email service provider or not. What’s important is having a backup email account. The backup account lets me continue to receive your email messages and gives you a safe and secure auxiliary inbox to send the password change email of the account that has been compromised.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi and networks

Of course, checking your emails is essential, and there’s no doubt about it. After all, that’s the primary purpose of emails. But just accessing your email when you’re not in the safety of your office or home network could lead to disastrous results. You need to understand that public Wi-Fi is a fantastic prospect for attackers, hackers, and other miscreants to break into your email. Free Wi-Fi could mean two things, a free network that is secured and a network that is open to all. Open network Wi-Fi is those that you usually find at train stations or airports, while in a restaurant or café, you’d usually find a secured network free Wi-Fi. The next thing you should ensure is that before every url, you see “HTTPS.” And not HTTP. If you see HTTP before the url, it means that the network is not secure, and you should not access any confidential information as it is open to attackers. In order words, the SSL certificate is not valid or hasn’t been installed. As discussed in the points above, an SSL certificate secures the network with HTTPS before url.

Stay away from spam emails

If you’re faced with spam email, you should not submit to the temptations of unbelievable offers or schemes as they’re usually phishing schemes. If you’re still wondering what emails are genuine and which ones are spam, go to the spam folder in your email account, and you’ll get a better idea. Now that you’re successfully able to distinguish between authentic emails and spam emails, you should make sure not to reply to any of the spam emails as it makes it easier for hackers to gain access to your data. Additionally, many of these spam emails contain malwares and viruses that can immediately affect your system and compromise your data and confidential information.

Lock your pc or computer

The security of your email is also affected by the system being used to access your email. Sometimes the attacks and hacks are not just digital but physical as well. Leaving your laptop or PC unlocked could lead someone to access your confidential data. You must lock your system every time you’re away. A password is a simple way of locking your laptop, tablet, or PC, and every operating system has the feature to do the same. So, make sure never to leave your system unattended and lock it to keep your email safe and secure.


Email security is often overlooked and not taken seriously. But the fact is that your email is a digital projection of yourself. With confidential data, communication, and information, it’s vital that you keep yourself safe and equipped for any threat that might befall you. You can begin by following the best practices and solutions that are mentioned above. They won’t take much time, but they would help you keep your email secured.

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Article Author Details

Josh Argenton

Josh Argenton is a well-known blogger who has been writing for the last several years. He has written blogs and articles on a wide range of topics including technology, health & beauty, sports, business, food, entertainment, home improvements and much more. His artistic background nurtures him in developing creative writing skills.