More than half of the world uses email, making it one of the most popular platforms for personal and business communication. In fact, there are 3.9 billion email users in the world. Its popularity comes with a cost - it’s a prime target for cyberattacks. Cybercriminals can (and do) steal vital information through emails, your emails must be properly secured to protect yourself and your business. Here are 6 tips to maximize your email security and reduce your risk of cyberattack.
Separate your work and personal accounts
Checking multiple email accounts can be time-consuming, so many people combine their personal and work emails into one account. While this may seem easier, it also funnels all of your incoming messages into a central location, which is very attractive to hackers. Those store sales and website newsletters may seem harmless, but if they’re hacked they can allow access to everything in your inbox, including your sensitive personal or business information.
Separating your personal and business accounts increases your security and protects information that could impact your company if it fell into the wrong hands. Having one account dedicated to your business can also make it easier to access needed files and minimize personal distractions, increasing your productivity.
Set strong passwords
We’ve all experienced the annoyance that comes when a new account declines a simple password as not being “strong enough”. This serves an important purpose - it creates passwords that are harder to break. Predictable email passwords like “password” or a series of numbers like “12345” are still being used, creating a high risk of cyberattacks. And some businesses still use personal information like their main phone line or address for passwords, which are easy for hackers to guess.
There are a few ways to create better passwords. Always include a good mix of upper- and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Don’t use personal information that can be easily guessed. Create unique passwords for each account. And be cautious about where you keep your passwords stored - an unsecured document containing all of your passwords should never be left in your email or on your network. Finally, consider implementing a multifactor authentication (MFA) on your email accounts; this requires multiple forms of identification for access, such as a fingerprint or authentication code.
Learn To Recognize Email Scams
Many people fall prey to email scams every day - and that’s because they work. Email scams are remarkably clever, fooling even the best-prepared users. As technology evolves, scams will become even harder to detect. But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
First, never click on links or open attachments from people or companies you don’t know. They may appear to be a harmless giveaway or a JPEG file, but they may be infected with malicious programs or malware that attack your computer. Always be sure that you know the sender and were expecting to hear from them.
But sometimes it’s not as easy as recognizing a name. Cybercriminals can now appear to be high-profile companies that you might not expect - stores, social media sites, and even banks have been used in email scams. Never give out your personal information via email, even if they claim that your account needs attention or ask to verify your identity. If you’re concerned, reach out to the company directly using verified means of contact such as their website or telephone number.
Monitor Your Accounts
Your account activity can tell you how your account is being accessed, which is helpful in identifying potential hackers. Things like devices and IP addresses used to access your account and even login times can show how and when your account is being used. Monitor your accounts regularly and be on the lookout for things you don’t recognize - this may indicate a hacker has accessed your account. If you see a flag, sign out of all sessions and update your password immediately.
Encrypt Your Emails
Your emails should always be encrypted. This prevents your emails from being read by users other than the intended recipient. Most emails today are sent unencrypted, and many large providers require third-party encryption services. We offer a top-of-the-line email encryption product that will guarantee your email security.
Update Your Software
Keeping your software updated is essential to maximizing your email and internet security. Anti-malware software, email security software, and firewalls act as barriers to email scams and data breaches and can identify other security risks. But we’ve all been guilty of clicking that “remind me later” button to postpone a pending update. Updates to your software are essential to making sure it runs properly, so always install the latest updates as soon as you can. Or, use our Application Security Patching service to stay updated all the time!
Protecting your emails and data can be a complicated task, especially for small businesses. Allowing a professional to manage your security practices is often the easiest and most effective way to protect your business. We offer a variety of email security services to protect your email from cyberattacks and give you peace of mind. Call us today or schedule your free demo online to experience our security solutions for yourself!
Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.
About BIS Technology Group
BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing, Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.
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