Simply changing your passwords every six months or using unique passwords for each login isn’t enough. You need to go the extra mile to ensure email safety and that your data is protected.
Any business owner will tell you that one of their primary concerns is email security, but not all of them are doing everything they can to ensure that their company’s most sensitive information doesn’t get stolen or exposed. Here are five tips to follow so that you and your employees can do just that.
1) Protect yourself from Spammers and other “bad guys”
It’s never been easier for spammers to wreak havoc on your business. Make sure that you’re not opening emails from addresses looking to steal your information and use it for disruptive purposes. Some tell-tale signs of spam mail include duplicate emails to different email addresses, indentation of the first letter of the sender’s name, or no sender name at all. Make sure that your junk email settings are configured to catch fishy emails and block any addresses that you know have sent you spam in the past.
2) Educate your employees
It’s up to your employees to follow best practices and do their part to keep their email free from harm. Provide them with the tools they need to understand what qualifies as unsafe when they’re checking their mail, and implement company rules so everyone knows what’s expected. Some companies are even testing employees by sending them spam and phishing emails to see if they know how to deal with them.
3) Keep vulnerable information to a minimum
More than ever before, we live our lives online. There’s no way to prevent the existence of sensitive information on the internet, but it’s important to avoid sending that information to anyone over email if at all possible. Once you press send on a message, you lose the ability to control what’s done with it. Responding to a phishing email with important information could lead to that information being sold online or used by the phisher.
4) Disregard emails from companies and people you don’t know
That email from the guy you’ve never heard of who misspelled two words in the subject line? Delete it. The attachment that you weren’t expecting from the company that doesn’t sound real? Don’t open it. When in doubt, play it safe and stick to opening emails and attachments that you know have business with your company.
5) Implement an email retention policy
Emails employees receive that don’t directly impact company business should be deleted. In fact, some companies are introducing a practice in which emails are automatically archived or permanently deleted after 60-90 days.
No matter how many steps you take to ensure that your email doesn’t get taken advantage of, things happen that you can’t prepare for. Human error is to be expected, so make sure that you have a plan in place to deal with the situation as best you can. Spam filters, anti-virus software, remembering to log out, and setting up two-factor authentication can also help keep you free from harm. Don’t wait around for your company’s information to be compromised, act now.