Anyone can get caught out by poor email security. Hillary Clinton nearly got arrested for her email handling and a few misguided downloads recently brought the NHS to a standstill, so this is not just a beginner’s issue.
Have a look at these dos and don’ts to make sure that you’re up to speed.
…use a powerful email client app for business purposes, such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Exchange. It will make reading and sending emails easier and more secure.
…set up your junk email filter. This will filter out a large amount of the unwanted rubbish you receive, including dangerous phishing emails looking to acquire your personal details.
…be careful with your junk filter. Filter out too little and you’ll still get that unwanted rubbish. Too much and you risk missing something important. Whitelisting domains can help to solve this issue.
…know what information you can and can’t give out over email. When you’re unsure, err on the side of caution or check with a line manager.
…set a strong and unique password for your email, consisting of capitals, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Change regularly if possible and don't write it down where others can find it.
…be careful when signing up for advertising emails from an online seller. Look carefully at what the website says you’ll receive, then ask yourself if you really require it on a regular basis. This goes double when it comes to tick boxes for emails from partner websites and third parties.
…have up-to-date security software installed on your system. Run it whenever you suspect you may have an online security problem, such as a virus.
…create a clear universal email policy detailing what is acceptable and what is not, and make sure that all staff have read it.
…be careful who can access certain email folders. This is especially relevant for large organisations, where many people need to access some but not all of the same folders.
…contact your manager or IT support service if you suspect that there is an online security problem in your workplace.
…give your email address out to anyone you wouldn’t want to contact you. This sounds obvious, but many people do exactly this when signing up for free gifts or memberships on new sites.
…read emails from sources you don’t know or trust. In particular, don’t click on links or download files from suspicious emails. This is the number one way that viruses get into computers and onto networks.
…give out sensitive information such as pin numbers, passwords or credit card details via email. Banks, security personnel, IT support staff and authorised sellers will never ask for any of these via email.
…give out any information at all in reply to emails claiming to be from your bank or insurer, unless you know that the email is reliable. It’s usually worth independently contacting the organisation in question to check if the email is legitimate.
…have the same password for your email as those for other websites. A hacker can do a lot of damage if they get into both.
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