Wednesday, 2 March 2011

You have been Hacked! How secure is your e-mail account?

Today, when I tried logging in to my email account, I was surprised to note that I was denied access! Instead I was told to enter my mobile number so that the internet service provider could send me a verification code. Perplexed, I entered my registered mobile number, and a verification code was sent to me on my mobile, which I then supplied to the internet service provider. When I had done this but before I was taken to my mail account, there was a note stating that the Internet service Provider had noted some unusual activity in my account, so they had blocked it for my safety. I was then requested to change my password, which I did promptly.

It is surprising, how dependent we are on our internet e-mail accounts and we have to be dependent on our so called, creative, difficult to hack pass words. Unfortunately, the fact remains that our accounts will continue to be hacked no matter how creative and difficult our passwords might be! Some precautions that we need to take are that we should change our passwords regularly, provide the service provider with alternate email accounts and provide the service provider with a mobile number so that they might send you the verification codes. The use of nicknames, and date of birth figures are a strict no-no!

The feeling of being violated results from the realization that your account has been hacked! But then you should accept the fact gracefully that there are people out there who enjoy hacking into your accounts.Some do it for joy, while others have the vicarious pleasure of peeping into others personal lives.They are the peeping toms of the twenty-first  century. The more sinister hackers are after your bank account numbers, and the A.T.M. or internet Pin passwords. They are the more dangerous species of hackers from whom you have a lot to fear!

Unless of course you are a secret service agent, or a top secret scientist, or the in charge of procurement of Fighter Aircraft, or the designer of Limpet Mines or Missiles, you might smile off such an attack on your email account. But then it pays to be alert and careful about the precautions you take while setting up your email account! It is always a good idea to use nonsense words combined with a nonsensical series of numbers!

Today, so many years after I wrote this article, I keep getting warnings from  my E-Mail service provider informing me about an attempt to log in into my account and I get to receive the information about the incident such as the location of the log in attempt and even the I.P. address. In most cases the only protection lies in constantly changing your password, and linking your E-Mail account to another E-Mail account and a Mobile Phone number.

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