Email is one of the most essential business tools today. It enables swift, efficient communication within a company and with their customers and partners. Email’s popularity among businesses is what makes it a target for hackers looking to get ahold of critical business and client information. It’s therefore crucial to safeguard your email account, and in this blog post, we’ll discuss seven ways to help you do so.
Use strong passwords
Having a strong password is often overlooked, as most users tend to do what is most convenient and easy to remember. Often, users will also use the same password for multiple accounts. This poses a risk as well, since if hackers can get one of their passwords, they can log into everything else. To keep all password-protected accounts secure, utilize strong passphrases that are unique to each account. A strong password would usually contain an upper/lowercase letter, a number, a symbol, and be at least 12 characters long.
Enabling multifactor authentication for your email account is also a good security measure. With MFA, a user would have to verify their identity by providing their username and password as well as a valid fingerprint scan or an answer to a security question. This makes it more challenging for malicious actors to access your account. Along with the intruder needing to provide additional information, it also let's you know if someone is trying to log in, as you usually will receive a notification when logging in from a non-familiar area.
Email encryption is a process that transforms readable text into unreadable code. This code can be read only by someone who has the corresponding decryption key, keeping your email safe from unauthorized access. Usually, the only person allowed to decrypt this email is the recipient(s), as it will decrypt itself when they go to read it.
Don’t ignore security updates
Always install the most recent updates for your antivirus, firewalls, and email security software. Doing so can protect you from cyberattacks, as it enables these cybersecurity solutions to detect and filter out even the newest email-based cyberthreats. Installing these updates also fixes software vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
Along with doing regular updates for security, also pay attention to patches put out shortly after a major update. Usually after major updates, Zero-Day exploits are usually found, which requires another smaller update to fix it.
Do not click on suspicious links and email attachments
Refrain from downloading or opening files and links in emails if you’re not 100% certain they are safe. These links may direct you to fraudulent websites or these email attachments may install malware on your computer.
Beware of phishing scams
Phishing is an online scam in which criminals pose as legitimate businesses or individuals to obtain personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. Phishing scams can use different communication platforms, but they often involve fake emails that contain links to spoofed websites. When unsuspecting users input their personal information into these fake sites, criminals can use that information to commit identity theft or fraud.
Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common, so it’s important to be aware of how they work. Take note that reputable companies would never ask for such sensitive data via email. If you believe that the email you received might be from a phishing attempt, contact the company directly using the contact details on their official website. Don’t use the contact details in the dubious email as these might be fake too. A lot of phishing emails will show the correct name in the 'from' address line, however the email it comes from will not be accurate.
Regularly monitor account activity
Monitor for any suspicious behavior, which involves checking your logs for things like unusual devices or IP addresses that have accessed your account. Such activity could indicate a security breach. If you think your account was hacked, sign out of all web sessions and immediately change your password.
Often due to security reasons, you will receive an email when someone new logs into your account, usually from a different IP address/country. If you are not aware of anyone you have given permission to log in, immediately change your password for that account, and any accounts which may have the same password.
Use different email accounts
Don’t use one email account for everything. Otherwise, if someone gains access to that account, they could also easily steal any stored information or connected online accounts associated with that email. This could lead to hackers using your account for fraud and other illegal activities.
That’s why you should create separate email accounts, such as a personal account dedicated to communicating with your friends and family, and a professional account for work-related tasks only. You can also create another email account for miscellaneous things, such as online shops, gaming sites, newsletter subscriptions, and the like.
As we become increasingly reliant on technology, the importance of email security grows even more. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you must take steps to secure your email account.
Contact Beringer Today!
Partner with us to ensure your organization’s devices are always secure and compliant with ever-changing security standards. Reach out to Beringer Technology Group today. We can help evaluate your current cybersecurity posture with our Cyber Security Risk Assessment Solution, and implement the right security solutions for your organization.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.