Wales

Webmail

Webmail, such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or gmail – or that supplied by some internet service providers – makes it easy to email using different computers, smartphones and tablets. However, there are risks associated with using internet-based email, some of which are shared with other systems (see Spam & Scam email).

General webmail safety tips

  • Use webmail services from well-known and trusted companies.
  • Enable spam filtering or switch to a webmail provider that can do this (see Viruses & Spyware).
  • Use a strong password to log in (see Passwords).
  • Always log out of your webmail when you have finished emailing. This is particularly important on a shared computer.
  • We recommend that you connect to webmail only when your webmail provider has a secure connection (indicated by a padlock in the bottom right hand side of your browser window and the letters ‘https://’ at the beginning of the website address). If the connection is not secure, take care not to send email which could reveal personal or financial information about yourself.
  • Be wary about attachments in emails from unknown or untrusted sources. Some webmail systems automatically scan attachments for malware.
  • Make sure you have the latest antivirus/anti-spyware and firewall software installed.

Don’t lose your old email messages

Some webmail systems may delete email messages if you exceed a storage quota. If your email archive is important, consider a paid-for online storage service, or using a webmail service without these restrictions.

Please also note that some webmail providers may suspend your account if you do not access it for an extended period of time.

 

See Also...

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Jargon Buster

A Glossary of terms used in this article:

Webmail

An email system that uses a web browser to read and send emails, rather than a standalone email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

Spyware

Malware that secretly monitors a user's activity or scans for private information.

Spam

Unsolicited commercial e-mail. Also known as junk e-mail.