It wasn’t a long ago when Mat Honan, the senior Wired magazine writer, reported about his Twitter account hack, with Apple’s stolen IDs/passwords and GoDaddy’s account hacking incidents joining in the league of wide-spread malware cases. The entire world knows that these incidents are real but still most of the users stand oblivious to them because they weren’t the victims. Despite that people are concerned about their online privacy and security, most of them miss on using best practices when online. These best practices may include creating strong passwords, using antivirus program(s), and not opening random advertisements, links etc. Most of the users even try to evade authentication/verification procedure set up by the website publisher(s) and thus become victims of hacking and other online threats.
This also applies to the MSN service. MSN, which is a popular email/messenger web service from Microsoft Hotmail, has millions of users with millions more signing up every year. MSN being a webmail service remains at the end of receiving malware, virus infections embedded in emails, emoticons, links etc. It’s not just the MSN service but the MSN users whose accounts and information remain at the brink of being stolen and compromised. Users can easily stop their accounts from being hacked and protect their valuable information by being a little careful and using some safety tips.
Must to do things:
Block unwanted and unknown senders. It is the safest way to prevent your MSN account from being inundated with spam and phishy emails, links etc. which sneak into your account only with the purpose of hacking or stealing. Some users really think that it’s useless to pay attention to such senders and merely delete their contact details. However, deleting them won’t do any good. You will need to block such senders in order to stop them from making way into your email account.
Create a strong password for your MSN account and be careful that it doesn’t have the same password as your other accounts have. This is the biggest mistake users make when creating passwords. In order to remember and for ease, most of the users create the same password for all their email, messenger, and bank accounts etc. With this, it becomes easy for hackers to get into your account. Once a password for a single account is cracked, all your accounts will be cracked instantly and your life will be finished in some time. So it’s strictly prohibited in the web world to use one, single password for all the accounts. You should use different and strong (alpha-numeric with special characters and symbols like (-), (@) etc.) passwords for each of your account. It would be great if you change your password(s) every 3-4 months in order to remain highly safe and secured. We understand that it’s really difficult to recall passwords at times but believe us your life will not be ruined.
Use both an antivirus program(s) and a firewall. Most of the contemporary security programs come with email/link screening feature to help sieve out spam messages in the first instance as they approach users’ email accounts. This is really great enough to keep spammers away from sneaking into your account. Enable the email scanning feature and that’s it, enjoy a safe, secure email communication. There is a disadvantage to using the email screening feature and that is it delays sending/receiving of messages due to which you may dislike it, especially when you need to send urgent, quick replies. If safety is your priority, then go for it without a second thought.
Emoticons! Most of us love emoticons and use them here and there and everywhere be it an email, a forum, sticky note, or a document etc. Despite that emoticons add feelings to what users want to say, they also invite troubles in the form of malware, virus infections. Emoticons and other such graphic-based symbols are the favorite places of hackers to attach malware software into them. We know that it would sound really rude to ask you people disable them, but that’s the way it is. If you want to remain safe let alone hackers, you will need to disable incoming emoticons that show up in emails received to your Inbox.
Scan all the attachments before you begin to download them to your computer. Enable the attachment scan feature in your antivirus software and scan each and every attachment for viruses before you actually view and download it. Email attachments have been observed to be the largest carrier of the virus, malware infections. So, don’t take a chance, especially with attachments from unknown senders.
It has been observed from some past MSN account hacking incidents posted in Microsoft forums that users’ Inbox, Sent Items, or Deleted folders were wiped out by hackers after they successfully managed to sneak into them. In case if this happens to your MSN account, don’t panic at all. Open your web browser and visit the Windows Live Hotmail mailbox website. From here you can recover all your deleted email messages, photos, videos, and contacts etc. In addition, you can report about this problem in a private message to the Microsoft team so that it can take suggest any further cures.