I was just reading the ‘Digital Fortress’ by Dan Brown. According to that, a machine called Translator can crack your emails. I know its fiction but, I wanted to tell the real stuff!! I will take Gmail as an example.
How secure is your account?
- Your email is secured with SSL encryption. If anyone tries to make a brute force attack (trying all the combinations) it will take him about 20 years with the fastest computer in the world.
- It is reinforced by CAPTCHA. So, after about 3-4 wrong attempts. A CAPTCHA should be entered for every password trial. So, a bots cannot be used.
- Even if a guy has overcomed the CAPTCHA problem. After about 20-30 wrong attempts, the account will be locked for 24 hours.
- But, this system can still be cracked. Read on..
How can your account be hacked?
- Keylogger – This is a malicious program which records all your keystrokes and sends it to the Internet.
- Cookie steal scripts – Cookie is a small piece of information in your browser, containing your username and password. A hacker can send you an email with a script which snatches the cookie and sends it to the hacker.
- Phishing – A very good replica of a trustworthy website (say gmail) is made. When you login in that website, your username and password is sent to the hacker.
- Guesswork – Some people can actually guess your passwords with your social networking profiles.
- By the Email service itself. Yes! they can have access to your account. They do it when you are in serious trouble.
- Well, I am not a hacker so, if there is any other ways please add it in your comments.
How to protect your account?
- Use a good Antivirus Software like Avast, NOD32 etc. This removes the chances of keylogging and cookie robbery.
- Always look into the address bar before logging in any website. See to it that its gmail.com not gmaile.com or something like that.
- Try not to use a public computer because, they can be loaded with malicious softwares
- Always use a secure password. The best method is set a password with spelling mistakes and some numbers in it. Let it be a proper noun. Eg: My favourite actor is Emma Watson. So, with some tweaks here and there, I have a password 3mmaw4tzen (3=E and A=4). Cool huh?
So what do you think? Got any protection tactics? Whatever you think. Comment on!