Even before I started working with a main focus on Cybersecurity, it was always my practice and policy to not allow free email services on any work related computers. Gmail, Hotmail, etc. While these are part of our everyday life they have no place in or on our corporate devices.
While some companies like Google offer business class services, it’s the personal email side that always concerned me. And now even more than ever before! Not unlike social media, we tend to think it’s safe to check our personal free email on a work computer, but it’s not. Hackers will always look for a weakness and exploit it, especially if they find it on a corporate device, computer, mobile device, etc.
While most of what we do with our free email account is benign there could be information that leads to your company system getting infiltrated. You may use the same email password, have saved your work computer, email or domain password in an email, and you just opened the door to the hackers.
Free email services are great as long as you remember what to use it for, personal email that won’t leave you opened to any serious attack either personal or business. Don’t use it for everything, you don’t want your medical information, passport renewal, or other very private information to get into the hands of some hacker who sells it on the Darkweb and the next thing you know, you’re fighting to get your identity back! Or trying to deal with a credit card company explaining that you didn’t apply for the card that now has a huge balance tied to you.
We’ve become a society of overtrusting individuals thinking these tech giants are going to keep us safe. While they may try their best, the hackers have a more important reason to break through, it’s to get your data, and they work hard at it! So make sure to do everything you can to secure your accounts, but remember the old saying ‘the better the lock, the better the lock pick!’. In the article attached they show how Gmail has been hacked even with all the security features.
We use our free email accounts quite often to get a discount from an online or instore seller, or other great offers. But how do you know if you’ve been breached. Here is a link to a website that will help you figure that out. This was provided to me by the head of Nuvollo’s Cybersecurity team Sanjeev Multani and it is a great website to bookmark and check your free email and even work email to see if you’ve been hit! https://haveibeenpwned.com/