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Tips on How to Make Your Email Client Secure

If you are using an email client such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Eudora, there are two types of security that you need to be concerned about. One type of security involves securing the email client software itself against exploits and vulnerabilities and the other involves securing your email messages.

Email Client Security Tips

The term email client refers to software that you download which performs all of your emailing tasks, as opposed to Web-based email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail, and others that use your browser as the email client. With that said, here are some tips on email client security using email client software.

  • Choose a Client with Security Settings: Although most email clients contain security settings, the degree of the security settings varies among different email client software packages. The best way to choose a secure email client is to go to the site and find out about past and present vulnerabilities in the software. For example, if you use Microsoft Outlook you can go to the Microsoft site to learn what vulnerabilities have been discovered in the past and what patches are available for current vulnerabilities. You can also visit review sites to read the reviews from people who have actually used the email client software.
  • Use an Alternate Email: If you participate in online discussions or subscribe to free information, set up a free email account with Hotmail, Gmail, or others before you post online. This will prevent a lot of unwanted email from entering your email client and potentially bringing in malicious files that are associated with the unwanted email.
  • Use Plain Text: Use plain text when you compose your email messages. If you add a lot of HTML to your messages, these elements could be derived from a website that is infected with malicious files without your knowledge. It is best to play it safe and get in the habit of writing all of your messages in plain text.
  • Use More Than One Type of Protection: Use more than one type of protection against viruses and malware. Simply using an antivirus program will not do the trick. You must use other protection such as a firewall and add an anti-spyware and adware program to your arsenal of PC protection. Also, make sure your antivirus program is capable of scanning incoming emails as well as outgoing emails.
  • Use Encryption: Encrypt all of your email messages whenever possible. Most email clients support encryption and there are free encryption programs available that you can use with your email client software. You can also consider using a third party secure email provider that offers encryption services.
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