October marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Cyber Aware shares its top tips on how to stay safe and secure online – protecting you and your family’s private information.

Have you ever thought about what your email account says about you and your family? It might give away more than you think.

As our offline lives are becoming more intrinsically linked to our online lives, an email account can reveal some of our most private information.

Research from Cyber Aware and UK General shows that people’s inboxes can be a ‘treasure trove’ for hackers – with access to bank details, passport photos and home addresses.

It reveals that 79% of Brits surveyed keep emails in their inboxes that could be exploited by hackers for ID theft, fraud, or impersonation.

Email safety - photos in your inbox

For parents, this could mean important family details are at risk.

This information can be used to commit cyber crime including making phishing emails more convincing by including personal information or impersonating us or our loved ones.

What we have in our inbox

E-receipts revealing our purchase history (51%)

Personal photos of friends, family or pets (35%)

Messages from loved ones (34%)

Love letters saved in their inbox (6%)

Despite this, instead of ensuring our email password is secure, many of us use personal information such as our children’s or pet’s names, which can be easily found out.Email safety - using pets names as password

DID YOU KNOW?

30% of Brits use the same password for their email account as other online accounts, even though this can allow hackers to access many of our other personal accounts once one is discovered?

The good news is that it’s simple to take action to help protect yourself online.

5 email safety tips

1. Use a strong, separate password for your email. Make #OneReset to your password today

2. A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words. Numbers and symbols can be used to make it stronger

3. Use words which are memorable to you, but not easy for other people to guess. Don’t use words such as your child’s name or favourite sports team which are easy for people to guess by looking at your social media accounts or simple substitutions like ‘Pa55word!’

4. When available you should use two-factor authentication on your email account. It gives it extra layer of security, as it means your account can only be accessed on a device that you have already registered

5. Don’t use public Wi-Fi to transfer sensitive information such as card details or details about your family and identity

For more advice on simple ways to be more secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website.