Apr 15, 2024 | Cybersecurity

Are You Revealing More Than You Think?


It might seem mundane but holds significant weight in our digital lives – our email addresses. Our email address is like our digital fingerprint, its unique to each of us, but they also carry subtle vulnerabilities that can compromise our online security.

1.         **Revealing More Than We Intend**: Have you ever noticed how your email address often contains bits of your name or personal information? This is like leaving breadcrumbs for cyber attackers, giving them clues about who you are and where you work, potentially making you a target for phishing or social engineering attacks.

2.          **The Domino Effect of Account Associations**: It is not just about your email; it is about the doors it can unlock. Often our email addresses are used as our usernames for accounts. So, if a cybercriminal gets hold of your email, they might try to use it to access other accounts, creating a domino effect of security breaches.

3.          **The Double-Edged Sword of Password Recovery**: We have all been there – forgetting a password and then using our email for password resent and recovery. But what if someone else gains access to that email? Suddenly, they hold the key to resetting passwords and potentially taking over our accounts linked to this address.

4.          **The Perils of Spam and Phishing**: Those annoying spam emails flooding our inboxes? They often start with harvested email addresses. Once your email falls into the wrong hands, you could become a target for phishing scams, with cybercriminals trying to trick you into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware.

5.         **The Unseen Profiling**: Beyond security threats, there is also the issue of data aggregation. Our email addresses can be used to piece together detailed profiles about us, raising concerns about privacy and data protection.

So, what is our defence in this battlefield?

– **Craft Unique Email Addresses**: Consider creating separate email accounts for different purposes to minimise exposure. We can do this by using tools like Apple’s ‘Hide my email’ and Firefox ‘relay’.

– **Fortify with Two-Factor Authentication**: Make sure you add an extra layer of security to your email accounts by using two-factor authentication.

– **Think Twice Before Sharing**: Be mindful of where you share your email address online to avoid falling into the wrong hands.

– **Stay Sharp Against Phishing**: Be vigilant against suspicious emails, stay updated on social engineering cues and ways to recognise them, and think twice before clicking on any links or attachments.

-**Elevate your passwords with password mangers**: To make sure your passwords are never the same, make sure you implement a password mange solution. By doing this you can take advantage of one of our recommended tools such as Keeper security to manage your passwords, watch for breaches and identify risk. Connecting this to a SSO solution and/or utilising a Yubikey (a hardware authentication device) will reinforce your defences and improve your digital security.

By understanding the vulnerabilities tied to our email addresses, we can take initiative-taking steps to fortify our online security and keep our digital lives safe. Let us stay informed, stay vigilant, and stay secure together.

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