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Webmail Security

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,099
Thanks: 36
Fixes: 3
Registered: 07-09-2007

Webmail Security

A friend of mine has a Gmail account which was hacked into yesterday.  Everyone in her address book was emailed with a plea for help - emergency, flight diverted to London due to technical difficulties, mugged at gun point, everything taken - please send some money to pay for hotel etc.
Because the hackers could access her gmail account - they even chatted on line with one of her friends - they had access to emails about her personal life - university credentials, her New Zealand travel plans, her address, it was all repeated in the scam email.  I must admit that even I was taken in, although I am not usually that gullible.  It was not until the request came to send money by Western Union that alarm bells started to ring.  But the email was unusually plausible for a scam, and I know that others fell for it, although I do not think anyone lost any money, because the truth came out pretty quickly - I emailed her and asked her what she had given me for Christmas, an answer that only she, not the hackers, would have known.
But it has been a salutory lesson.  The problem with services like Gmail, MSN, Hotmail etc. is that all email history is kept on-line.  So if someone manages to hack into an account, there is a huge amount of "identity data" for them to steal.  Personally, I use Outlook as a client, rather than Plusnet's webmail, so the risk should not exist.  Except .....
Purely as back-up, I leave copies of all emails on the Plusnet mail server.  So I am no better than she is !  So my question has to be, how secure is the Plusnet mail server ?  Is there any risk of someone hacking in and gaining access to my historic emails also ?  I suppose that it is just down to password protection.  I do archive the old emails on the server by transferring them to another online folder, but frankly that is no protection unless I could add a further layer of security by password protecting the sub-folder.  But I doubt if that is possible with Plusnet ?
Any thoughts / comments ?
1 REPLY
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Webmail Security

they were hacked a few years ago, that was to do with the previous web mail, afterwards and a lot of lost e-mails, we were given a new identity, either  a .me.uk or a .co.uk domain for free