Email is one of the main forms of communication in the business world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the easiest ways for online scammers to attack employees and, ultimately, the company’s data. All it takes is one employee opening a malicious link for cybercriminals to circumnavigate your cybersecurity defenses. Therefore, it is essential for all businesses and their employees to understand best practices to avoid email-based threats.
- Train Your Employees
Knowledge is power! The more your team knows about the best email security practices, the less likely they will fall victim to common cybercriminal tricks. It’s important to train your employees to be able to identify the universal red flags of email scams such as phishing emails, malicious attachments, and dangerous links that may contain computer viruses. Furthermore, your employees should also know to be cautious of emails from unknown senders and be able to recognize scammers disguising themselves. It really all comes down to this: if you are sensing something suspicious, trust your gut.
Lastly, it is also critical that your employees know never to share confidential information via email, no matter who it is being sent to. This includes password and username sharing, financial information, and private company data.
- Regular Password Changes
Along with creating strong passwords, it’s also recommended to perform regular password changes to better protect your email accounts. A good rule of thumb is to have your employees change their passwords every 2 months. To make this security practice the most effective, suggest that they change their password to something completely different rather than adding a few extra characters to their existing password. Understandably, your busy employees may forget to change their passwords without being reminded. An easy way to manage this process is to set up ongoing reminders every 2 months that are automatically sent to the company.
Passwords are not the only way to authenticate accounts. There are a number of growing technologies that are beginning to take the place of passwords, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Working remotely has become the new norm for many companies across the country. While this is super convenient for many individuals, it also poses new threats when it comes to cybersecurity. Public networks make it much easier for scammers to access data that is being transmitted, such as login credentials and sensitive data is that often used throughout the workday. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that your employees are in a safe, private environment when accessing their email accounts.
However, there may be some employees that wish to work in their local coffee shop, or even clock in while they are away on vacation. The best way to ensure that your employees are safe no matter where they may be is by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
- Check URLs Before Clicking
At one point or another, we have all been in the situation where we received an email that requires clicking a URL to view the full message. Even if the email is coming from a company name that you recognize, it is important to never be too quick to click on outside links in emails. Changing a few characters in a known link is one of the most common ways that email scammers try to hack into accounts, and oftentimes these changes are so subtle that the user believes it is authentic. Checking for an HTTPS extension or hovering over a link to see the URL address are a couple easy ways to ensure the link you see is legit. These extra steps could save you and your company from an unwanted data breach.
- Never Reuse Passwords
Even though it may seem tedious, it is highly recommended to use a unique password for every account you have, including your email accounts. Oftentimes, the main reason individuals use the same password for multiple accounts is because they simply cannot keep track of them all. Online password management tools such as LastPass or 1Password are the best options for keeping track of multiple passwords.
BrightLink Technology: Jacksonville’s Business IT Leader
BrightLink has been providing reliable IT solutions for businesses in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida for many years. Our team is dedicated to staying up to date with the latest technology trends and best practices to offer our clients the best security solutions. At BrightLink, we ensure that your business never has to experience a lack of productivity. If your business needs professional IT support, we encourage you to contact our office today.