Most companies rely on email exchanges as their primary mode of communication. However, businesses should be aware that all email exchanges may not be as private as they believe.
Even a single employee’s small mistake could jeopardize the organization’s safety and security. To avoid this, businesses must ensure that their employees are fully aware of email security and safety etiquette.
Email security: 12 Tips for Strong and Secure Email
The following guideline will show you how to strengthen your company’s email security.
1. Use strong passwords
When it comes to email security tips, the necessity of a strong email password cannot be overstated. Implement a strong password policy to guarantee that all employees use strong passwords that are changed regularly. Your email account will be more secure if you use a passphrase rather than a password. You can also mix lower and upper case alphabets, numerals, and other characters. If you have trouble remembering passwords, use a password manager, but never write them down or save them in files.
2. Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
Multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication or two-step verification) is an email account security mechanism that requires users to submit two separate authentication factors, such as a password and a unique passcode generated by a mobile application.
Organizations use SMS codes as an alternative authentication method to passwords for employee logins.
In the case that a cybercriminal obtains a user’s password, MFA adds an extra layer of security to the account, preventing the attacker from accessing it. Authentication is the type of security mechanism that decreases the chances of accounts being hacked.
3. Install antivirus software on each PC
This is one of our suggestions that will not only improve the security of your email, but also the security of your computer.
4. Create a different SMTP account for each sender
If your company has different people sending emails, create a different SMTP account for each sender. That way, if someone’s PC is hijacked and starts sending spam, it’s simple to disable just that one SMTP username without affecting other users.
5. Be careful when opening attachments
Scan any email attachment before opening it, especially if it comes from someone you don’t know. Viruses and malware infect computers in nine out of ten cases when they are downloaded as attachments.
6. Don’t show your email address in public places
Consider using a secondary email account if you need to publish a working email address on a public document (such as a press release). Using an email address attached to a non-essential account will keep things neater in the future if that email account is compromised.
7. Enforce an email policy
Employees should be instructed to follow a clear policy for email usage, which should be created and maintained by the company. Employees must be aware of emailing protocols that meet data security criteria, such as what data may and cannot be shared by email, who is authorized to send corporate sensitive information via email, and which files should not be downloaded.
Configure your email servers to support TLS (Transport Layer Security)
(TLS) is a security technology for securing data that travels between a web browser and a website via HTTPS.
TLS can also be used to encrypt the contents of emails, ensuring that only the intended recipient can read them. This means it’s quite good at preventing eavesdropping, which is the act of hackers reading and/or meddling with communications. TLS is the simplest of the several techniques available for encrypting connections between email servers.
Use email authentication
Email authentication solutions like SPF and DMARC add an additional layer of security by preventing email spoofing. Spoofing is when fraudsters use an organization’s email address to send false emails.
The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) limits who can send emails from your domains, whereas Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) tells the receiving organization what to do if a message isn’t properly verified, such as rejecting or quarantining it.
SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are standards that ensure the domain is safe and unhackable. To protect your email, you should use an SPF record checker tool.
8. Don’t respond to spam or phishing
Replying to spam merely informs the spammer that they have “got a live one.” It’s not a good idea. Furthermore, more than 3% of spam contains viruses. If you think that’s a small amount, check your “bulk” email folder, known as your spam folder. Right now, you probably have several hundred spam emails in your inbox.
9. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi
For hackers, and even for people who aren’t crafty enough to be labeled hackers, public Wi-Fi is a great opportunity. If you have to use a public Wi-Fi network, make sure you’re on the real free network, not the fake one set up by a hacker to seem like the coffee shop’s or the airport’s network. Next, check that the URL where you log in has an “HTTPS:” at the beginning. If you don’t see the “s” in “HTTPS,” or if you get a warning that the security certificate isn’t valid, don’t use that network. Sign up for a VPN (virtual private network) service if you’re feeling really suspicious.
10. Training on security awareness
Organizations must invest in security training sessions to ensure that workers are prepared to deal with information security threats. An employer must be confident that their employees understand how to handle sensitive data on their devices and the hazards that come with data security.
If the company fails to provide its employees with effective cybersecurity awareness and capabilities, important information may fall into the hands of hackers.
11. Use encryption
Phishing attempts are still possible with unencrypted emails, which can result in catastrophic data breaches. When sending sensitive material through email, instruct staff to utilize an encrypted ZIP file and share the password with the receiver separately. This adds an extra degree of security to email correspondence, preventing illegal access to email content from online intruders. Remember that good encryption begins with selecting a complex password for decryption.
12. Use up-to-date anti-virus and email systems
To get unauthorized access to sensitive information, hackers employ complex ways. So maintain a patched email system and utilize anti-virus software that checks both incoming and outgoing emails for viruses, malware, trojans, and other potential risks. Make sure it’s always up-to-date with the most recent virus definitions to protect against newly discovered vulnerabilities.
Protecting sensitive information in email communications, preventing phishing attacks, spear phishing, and email spoofing, and protecting against unauthorized access, loss, or compromise of one or more email addresses are all possible with proper email security. So follow our tips!
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