Queen Bey changes her email every week, the best cybersecurity practices
Getting in touch with Beyonce is harder than you think.
The “Flawless” singer reportedly changes her email address every seven days, according to singer Ed Sheeran, who recently collaborated with the popstar on the new song “Perfect.”
“I have an email address I email (to reach her but it) actually changes every week,” Sheeran told Entertainment Tonight. “So I emailed that and we got on the phone.”
While Beyonce’s cybersecurity measures may sound a bit extreme, celebrities are going to great lengths to maintain their privacy following the nude photo leak for 2014 that hundreds of stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Ariana Grande faced. That same year, the Sony hack revealed a list of celebrity aliases once used for mundane reservations like checking into hotels.
For Beyonce, the new email each week is because she “probably wants to avoid getting crazy fans emailing her all the time,” says Joe Caruso, a cybersecurity expert at Computer Forensic Services of New York. But he notes that the average person doesn’t have to change their email address, as long as they have more than one.
“What tends to happen is people have one email that they use consistently as their username to log into different things and they use the same passwords. Once someone gets your identity or personal information, your life changes completely for a long period of time. They get your credit. They impersonate you for different things. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to get your identity back,” says Caruso. “Use three emails: one for client and colleague related information, one for finance and shopping subscriptions and a personal email for friends and family.”
Caruso says that using three separate emails — for work, family and friends, and financial items like bank statements, online shopping receipts and subscriptions — allows you to keep sensitive and private information organized and separated, that way you lessen the risk of confidential documents being seen by the wrong eyes.
“From a security perspective, if you use the same email that you use for a secure banking site, and you use that same email on for a free dating site where security is really lax, now they [potential hackers] already have your email, and if you use the same password they then have the password and they’re able to get from one account to another,” Caruso warns.
“When you separate them, you have a secure area. When you don’t separate emails, it’s much easier for someone to social engineer you — when a hacker uses a fake email or phone number to get you to click on something that allows them into your computer,” he adds.
Each email should have a different password that’s changed every 30 to 60 days, Caruso suggests. When creating a password, try to avoid the obvious — your last name, pet names, family members or birthdays others can easily find out about you, and use uppercase letters and numbers along with symbols to confuse hackers. Also be sure to change your passwords frequently for social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter.
Remembering all of your passwords can be confusing. So consider buying a physical hardware-based password manager, or use a password safe that integrates with your web browser, like one called Keeper Desktop, for example, that makes it easy to manage your logins and passwords, allowing you to organize them with folders. Many will link up with your cell phone number so you can get a text message verifying your login.
“Most are safe, the only problem you have to keep in mind is when you utilize something like that, one password is the key to everything. If the password for your password safe is comprised you have a problem,” says Caurso.
It’s also important to monitor your inbox for unwanted spam. Often times hackers will create emails that mimic familiar ones from your bank, or a store you frequent asking you for money or to change a username or password. If there is something fishy in the content of the email, or if the email address looks unfamiliar, don’t click any of the links and delete it immediately.
“Only click items you’re absolutely sure are from someone you know,” says Caruso, who suggests setting up a spam filter with your email account.
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