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Is your email account secure?

Cyber Aware is warning the public that without using a strong and separate password for your main email account, you risk giving cybercriminals a wealth of information that could be used against you.

This comes after research from UK General Insurance in partnership with Cyber Aware reveals that people are storing sensitive information within their email accounts. 51% of people store e-receipts revealing purchase history, 34% store personal photos of friends, family or pets and 6% have love letters saved in their inbox.

Storing this kind of information can be like ‘gold dust’ to criminals, who can use it to commit cyber crimeincluding making phishing emails more convincing by including personal information or impersonating you or friends and family.

National Cybercrime Programme Lead, Detective Superintendent Andrew Gould from the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Just imagine someone posing as you and the reputational, emotional and financial damage it could do to you and your loved ones. The Cyber Aware campaign wants to make people really think about the value of our inboxes and treat them in the same way we treat treasured possessions in the offline world, by taking the simple step of having  a strong and separate email password, by using three random words and adding special characters and numbers to make it stronger. For an added layer of protection we recommend using two-factor authentication on your email  account, if available. This means your account can only be accessed with a device you have already registered.”

Alison Marriott, a victim of hacking said: “The whole experience was very distressing. emails were being sent from my account to my contacts which I had no control over. It caused a great deal of embarrassment as there were lots of phone calls to be made to explain the situation. It was also very inconvenient and took days to sort out.”

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ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

We provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.
The easiest way to report fraud and cyber crime is by using our online reporting tool.

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