Emails are hacked every single day, from Gmail and Yahoo to private corporate email servers, with the right know-how and a bit of luck hackers can and will gain access to email accounts. With that being said there are some email accounts that offer better protection than others. For example Google’s two-step verification system can help protect a user from brute force attacks, while geographical logging on various accounts can help determine likely breach attempts.

Two-Step Verification Is A Must

The process of two-step verification is exactly what it sounds like, a process that requires two actions to be taken before an account can be accessed. The most popular example is Google’s two-step authentication which requires a user to enter their password and then enter a text message or internet enabled code sent to them by Google. Users can gain access to code with a phone or internet connection, the program also allows for offline access via time sync’d codes. Whether this type of two-step verification is used or a different secondary process is enabled this is a great way to avoid simple password based breaches.

Geo-Targeting Authentication

Some email providers will stop an account from being accessed if the hacker is attempting to log in to an account from a remote location. For example if you typically log into a Chicago area location and all of a sudden someone in Sweden is attempting to access your account it will become locked. Some services require further identifying factors to unlock new locations, for example a mobile SMS code or an email verification process.

Account Lockout 

Many email providers will now lock out an account for 24 hours if an incorrect password is entered too many times. Hackers will sometimes implement a process known as “brute force attacks” which plugs in thousands, potentially millions of passwords over a short period of time. Services such as Yahoo Mail, GMail, Outlook.com and others will lock out an account for a one day period after too many incorrect password entries.

24-Hour Password Reset Delays

If you have a Gmail or Yahoo account you may have noticed when requested to reset your password that a 24-hour delay is implemented. If you do not access your account within 24 hours after your first request you can revisit the password reset page and setup a new password after answering your private security questions. This ensure the real account owner can log in within 24 hours to void the password reset request.

The Option To Choose Your Password Resets

I only use Gmail because I can set my account to only access password resets through mobile messages. If a hacker hasn’t gained access to my phone they can not reset my password. Some email providers will allow you to eliminate personal questions, set alternative email password reset options and more.

When all is said and done the more password options you have the more secure your emails will be and remain into the future.

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