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Posted on January 06th, 2012 in Personal and Small Business Security

Some of you may ask why would the Bad Guys really want my email account.

The following are some examples:

SPAM…”I don’t want any SPAM!”: A valid email address is one of the most effective ways of sending out SPAM. If Bad Guys have access to an email account, they can use it to further spread SPAM like “viagra” or “pharma”, gambling, or money-mule scams. Within a valid email address a Bad Guy also has a number of known contacts and received emails to build his continuously growing list of SPAM recipients.
Viruses, Worms, and Trojans…Oh my!: Bad Guys want to spread viruses. Whether spreading malware to create more SPAM or for gaining a false sense of power by being the guy who caused the most mayhem, Bad Guys can continue to spread malware by unauthorized access to your email.
$$$ “Follow the Money.”: Bad Guys love information and within email accounts there is a wealth of information. How many of you receive bank information, utility bills, conversations with friends/family, tax info…etc. all in your email account? Bad Guys will use this information to gain more access and potentially sensitive info that can be used for identity theft or monetary gain. One recent incident involved a person who was blackmailed because of pictures they had in their “hijacked” email account.
More Access…”Give Me More!”: Once a Bad Guy has access to your email, he or she will often make the jump to other accounts that belong to you or possible accounts of your friends, families, and other contacts. The additional access is often used to further some of the other above stated reasons for access.

Final Thoughts:

How many of you have set your Facebook password to the same as your email address password? Based on the latest security headlines, most people continue the bad password practice of using the same password for every website where they have accounts. Once someone steals a Facebook account it will take the Bad Guys seconds to steal the registered email address for that Facebook account if the password is the same. Several friends of LockerVault have run into this issue and these friends are told the same thing… Never use the same password in Facebook as you have set for your email account.

Rule of Thumb:

Use different passwords for different website logins. If one website such as your email is hacked or compromised, Bad Guys will not be able to quickly get into your other website logins such as Facebook.