Why Does My Email Keep Getting Hacked?

by Ashley Bustamante
Weak passwords are a common cause of email hacking.

Weak passwords are a common cause of email hacking.

An email account that is frequently getting hacked can be a very serious problem. time that this occurs, the hacker has access to all the messages in that email's inbox, which can include passwords to other accounts, contact information for friends and family, and even credit card information. This means that a hacked email is not only dangerous for you, but for those whom you keep in contact with as well.

Password Length

The length of your password plays a big factor in password security. Many people choose short words so that their password is easier to remember or so that they can type the password in more quickly. However, the shorter your password is, the quicker an experienced hacker can hack it. Each letter or number added to your password adds thousands of possible combinations for the hacker to try and work through. Generally a password should be no less than eight characters at the minimum.

Special Characters

Special characters in addition to letters and numbers can make a password much harder to hack. A lack of special characters allows a computer hacking program to go through possible combinations much quicker than the addition of a special character would. Even if you have a long password, it can still be hacked fairly easily if there are no special characters. If you have difficulty remembering special characters, try using them in place of letters or numbers, such as using the "@" symbol for the letter "a."

Dictionary

Passwords can be easily hacked if they use words from the dictionary. Programs simply go through dictionary words. However, using dictionary words and replacing letters with numbers or special characters is generally safe. For example, instead of writing "dictionary", your password could be "d!ct10n@ry." This password would be very difficult for hacking programs to crack, because it is lengthy, contains no dictionary words, and has numbers and special characters. However, because it is based off a real word, it is easier for you to remember.

Phishing Scams

If your password follows the recommended guidelines of length, avoiding dictionary words and using special characters, but you still find yourself getting hacked, you may be the victim of a phishing scam. Phishing is a term used to refer to a group or individual who steals user's information with fake websites or emails. Often these emails and websites will look legitimate. It could be an email from and organization saying your account has been compromised and will be shut down if you don't identify yourself, or a website saying you won something and need to enter information to claim your prize. If you receive an email asking for information, do not click on links within the email. Instead, go to the website directly and log in from there to see if anything looks suspicious.

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