The average person has little knowledge of how hackers operate in the online arena. Like safe-crackers that somehow find ways to break into the most secure safes, hackers seem to infiltrate computers and networks like magic.

Of course, it is not magic. If most people knew just how easy it was for hackers to break into their email accounts and wreak havoc, they would probably set stronger passwords, change their passwords regularly, and use email encryption software.

At the very least, you need to understand the damage done when a hacker gains access to your email. Here are just a few ways in which cyber-criminals can exploit your email address.

Scamming Your Contact List

This is where most hackers begin. When they gain entry to your email account, they also gain access to your digital contact list. If you have ever received a strange email from a friend asking you to click a link or send money, chances is hacking of the account. The link’s intention is to infect your computer or the money is going to the hacker.

Mass Email Scams

Once hackers have finished targeting your contacts, they will likely move on to larger email scams. They do this by using your email address to send out massive mailings to lists of unknown recipients. Phishing scams try to get recipients to click a spam link, download a malicious file, or send information or money is commonplace. Hackers rarely use email addresses traced back to them. Why should they when they can use an address that leads to you?

Infiltrating Devices and Programs

With strong password protection, a secure email service, and some common sense, such as not to click spam links or download dangerous files. This gives the opportunity to avoid having your email hacked. If hacked, however, chances are even HIPAA encryption levels cannot stop hackers from infiltrating your computer, programs, attached mobile devices, your cloud, and even online shopping accounts.

Most people put all their eggs in one basket. If hackers gain access to your email, they could have an open doorway to any number of other devices and accounts. They can use your email to reset other account passwords, gain access to credit information, or even delete accounts, such as social media profiles.

Ruining Your Online Reputation

With strong password protection, a secure email service, and some common sense, such as not to click spam links or download dangerous files. This gives the opportunity to avoid having your email hacked. If hacked, however, chances are even HIPAA encryption levels cannot stop hackers from infiltrating your computer, programs, attached mobile devices, your cloud, and even online shopping accounts.

Most people put all their eggs in one basket. If hackers gain access to your email, they could have an open doorway to any number of other devices and accounts. They can use your email to reset other account passwords, gain access to credit information, or even delete accounts, such as social media profiles.

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