Microsoft Hotmail and Google Gmail are the two most popular free email platforms around. Gmail boasts the more users, with more than a billion people using a Google account, while Hotmail – now known as Outlook – has been in use for much longer. But with online safety now at a premium, is Outlook or Gmail the most secure free email platform?

In terms of security, Gmail and Outlook are two of the most secure free emailing services available.

And although both are lacking end-to-end email encryption, both Microsoft and Google’s service are extremely secure.

Both platforms protect your emails from criminals, only scanning your email to help them advertise to you better.

And like most behaviour online, email security really concerns your personal habits.

The most important habit to remember is to regularly update your password and remember it so you can login.

Both Gmail and Outlook are relatively similar in their security, so it will ultimately come down to personal preference.

How to protect your Outlook email account:

Hacking and security breaches have become more frequent as criminal sophistication evolves.

Here are a number of methods you can use to make ensure your Outlook account is as secure as possible.

Use a strong password that is impossible to guess by using plenty of variation.

Always connect to your Hotmail account with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), ensuring that you are on a secure server connection and that any data communication sent between you and the server will not be intercepted by hackers.

Ensure your password reset information in your Outlook account is always up-to-date so you will always be able to reset your password using the recovery information.

When checking your email on a public computer, you should always use HTTPS instead of simple HTTP.

Enable two-step verification for your Microsoft account for increased security, either through Outlook’s service or through a third-party app.

How to secure your Gmail email account:

Following the instructions in the Security Checkup allows users to check connected apps, devices, account permissions that may lead to your account being compromised.

Immediately update the password of your Google Account, if you have not already.

It is also recommended to change password of apps and sites where you use the same password you used for your Google Account

Change password of apps and sites where you sign in with your Google Account email address as well as apps and sites for which you have saved passwords on your Chrome browser.

Make sure your recovery phone number and email are correct, so you remained informed about suspicious account activity.

Should you switch your email account?

Ultimately, the decision is down to your personal preferences as there are only marginal differences between the two.

It essentially comes down to if you would rather be with a more modern emailing service or not.

Many of the younger generation, as well as most businesses, will be Gmail savvy and demand you have a good understanding of Google services.

In this regard, Gmail is best, as it will give you access to more tools and will put you in better stead to manage in the more modern office.

But if this does not affect you, perhaps stick with Microsoft’s Outlook, which recently received a significant update, which brings the service more in line with Google’s Gmail.