Internet security can take many forms.  The key is assessing risk and identifying which online activities pose the most significant threat.  Anyone with an e-mail address is exposed to a variety of Internet security threats including malware, phishing, and spyware.  E-mail scams have become increasingly complex and more difficult to spot.  Fortunately, there are a variety of simple e-mail security tips anyone can implement immediately with very little time or effort.Email Security Tips

1. Use Multiple Accounts

The first way to make e-mail more secure is by using multiple accounts.  Using multiple e-mails spreads the risk of data theft across multiple secure accounts.  If an e-mail account is compromised, only a small portion of personal data is vulnerable when multiple accounts are used.  One account should be closely guarded and only used for online financial transactions, such as banking and bill paying.  By doing this, users know that any e-mails from  outside sources can be ignored.  Several other accounts can be created for social purposes, business, and newsletters.

2. Change Passwords Regularly

Regardless of how many e-mail accounts are used, every password should be changed regularly.  The perfect scenario is to switch passwords every 2 to 3 weeks.  Extending the deadline to several months is often good enough for less important e-mail accounts.  Additionally, every e-mail account should have a different password.    If a different password is used for each account and a single account becomes compromised, users can rest easy knowing the other accounts are still safe.

3. Always Watch Out for Phishing

The number one Internet security threat associated with e-mail is phishing.  Malicious third parties send unsolicited e-mails in an attempt to gather information about the user.  For example, this tax season has introduced a variety of new targeted phishing attacks.  Third parties attempt to gather information by offering deals on tax filing services.  When a user fills out their tax information, the third-party will then have all of the information they need to steal the user’s identity.  It is even more dangerous now that many people have their refunds directly deposited into their bank account.

4. Always Scan Attachments before Opening Them

Attachments are less of a threat than they used to be, however viruses can still be hidden in a variety of file types.  In a well-designed attack the user doesn’t even need to download the attachment to be at risk.

5. Avoid Using WiFi Whenever Possible

Wi-Fi hotspots are rarely secure from eavesdroppers.  Any time someone logs into one of their e-mail accounts via Wi-Fi there is a chance their login information will be stolen. If you are using Wi-Fi protect your information by using a VPN. A fast and reliable VPN service provider can be found at

6. Block HTML/XML Messages

There are a variety of different ways an e-mail can be displayed in an Internet browser.  Plain text e-mail messages are the most common, however many people no longer prefer this format because it is impossible to see images or videos without attaching them separately.  To see an image or video in an email, the email format must be HTML or XML.  Unfortunately, both of these options have an inherent internet security weakness.  They make users vulnerable to self-executing malware.

All six of these email internet security tips are easy to implement and significantly reduce the risk of data theft, malware, and viruses.