By James Azar
Email, we all use it, we all need it and we are all scared to death of it.
With multiple mass cyber break-ins and hackers giving all their efforts to destroy any sense of security we may have in our communications, it's natural to be concerned about the level of security that email service providers can actually give.
The email giants are all experiencing a great deal of change when it comes to their security strategy and approach, and rightly so.
The Yahoo experience was not lost on any of us, especially after the 2013 data breach (revealed in 2017) where it was pretty much accepted that every Yahoo user was hacked into.Yahoo along with the other email kingpins, realized they had to modify their game plan if they wanted to keep their audience (and subsequent revenue from advertising).
Yahoo has come a long way since then with storage that is unlimited and contacts can be imported from Outlook, Gmail and Facebook. Their current users can access from anywhere and from any email client supporting POP.
That's all very nice, but can Yahoo protect our privacy? Although still tarred with the 2013 brush of cyber security failure, Yahoo are doing what they can to stop the threats.
In a smart and well-thought-out move, Yahoo are turning the tables on hackers, one user at a time by putting cyber security directly into the hands of their clients.
As a Yahoo user you can manually increase both your spam protection and SSL encryption by turning on these elements in your settings, not only that but they have added a two-step verification for login, either via SMS or a 'call me' button.
Outlook similarly stress that you are in control of your data. They state clearly on their website "We don't scan your email content or attachments and sell this information to advertisers or any other company. You decide whether to connect your account to any social networks, and you're in control of who you friend or follow." Bottom line what happens with your emails is down to you although Microsoft ask you frequently to verify your account.
Microsoft use Microsoft SmartScreen to help protect their clients. SmartScreen works mostly behind the scenes to get rid of spam and keep your inbox scammer -free. They do this by adding a trusted sender icon next to the safe messages, which really up the stakes against a lot of BED schemes, pretending to be banks and other financial institutions.
By making the email user responsible over his own cyber security, Yahoo and Outlook are demonstrating quite effectively, that a great deal of our online vulnerability is down to us. From the corporation to the college campus, we know that the weak link is in our first line of defense, be it our workers, family or our own simple curiosity to open interesting emails.
Knowledge is power and even if we place multiple security systems in place, if the humans using the technology have limited knowledge in safeguarding data, your vulnerability goes through the roof.
Gmail, of course, set the bar a little higher and have recently taken a further step in their security. With over 900 million users and a free, dependable email service, Google like Yahoo is another huge target for phishing scams.
With so much market influence, Google had to do something impressive, so they did! In the new G Suite security center, Google is giving everyone's admin a run for their money. The new G Suite Security Center, only available to G Suite Enterprise introduces clients to an admin dashboard with an overview of security metrics, looking out for phishing emails etc. This will allow admins to explore anything that looks potentially threatening across the organization at one time. It's similar to Google Analytics.
There is also a regular security check up giving not only an overview of where you may want to improve your security but suggestions. The challenge here is to bring all the different features together, giving admins a single view of everything they need or might need and offering it to them. If you already have a G Suite Enterprise account, it's probably already available to you.
Keep yourself safer by keeping your software updated and avoiding downloading files you don't recognize. Aside from that, keep your eyes open for your Email providers next step .