Email has evolved significantly since its inception in the early 1970s. By the time the 90s rolled around, email had become commonplace in the home, and people lived for that little voice that said, “You’ve got mail!”
The evolution of email has made it an important function for everyone, everywhere. It’s become the official form of communication for businesses around the world and might be one of the most critical applications out there. From fun-filled advertisements to sensitive customer information, a company’s email is used for sending hundreds of messages daily.
Unfortunately, hacks and viruses are common, as you’ve probably experienced. Many companies think that their email is secure, but there are no exceptions when it comes to these attacks.
Strive to prevent future incidents with a few of the following suggestions to protect company email.
Develop Secure Passwords
A little over a year ago, five million Gmail passwords were viciously stolen. This was a major wake up call for email users everywhere, particularly those who used Gmail in a business setting. Simple, easy-to-guess passwords were what made this hack possible, and thousands more like it.
The more complex, unique, and unrecognizable your password, the harder it is for hackers to penetrate. Birth dates, names, and social security numbers are highly popular choices for passwords, which is a huge mistake. Not only are these easy to guess, but they also give complete strangers information about your personal life.
In a business email setting, don’t take that risk. Only use passwords that are complex and have no personal connection to you or your employees. Remember, it’s more important to use an “uncrackable” password than one you can easily recall.
Verify Senders and Data
It’s so easy to make an email account these days, anyone can do it. For that reason, you need to periodically run your emails through a verification process.
Begin by verifying that the person who sent the email is, in fact, who they say they are. Most emails have a verification system set up that will be able to distinguish robots from humans, and you can also seek the help of an email protection service.
Companies will also want to verify that the data within the email hasn’t been altered since being sent. Fortunately, there are a number of online tools and software that have been developed for that purpose.
Once you’ve mastered a few email security secrets, don’t keep them to yourself. Email is sent to everyone, and it doesn’t do your company much good if you’re the only one that knows how to keep things secure.
Hold regular security meetings in which you teach each employee the basics of identifying fraud and security risks. Bring in your tech department, if possible, to explain some of the ways employees can define the risks.
Also, train them on the rules and regulations surrounding data sharing. Some of the largest security breaches have happened because of ignorant employees. Go over the rules frequently and ensure that each employee has a copy to reference if needed.
Having zero email encryption basically welcomes hackers with open arms. On the other hand, encryption is like putting a hard, outer shell on email that’s difficult for hackers to breech.
It’s also important to check that the server has been encrypted. Usually, this requires paid software to do the job right on a business level, but if money is tight, there’s a variety of free software that can be utilized to encrypt both the server and email.
The central thing to remember when securing your website, email, or any other aspect of online business is that it’s not nearly as difficult, expensive, or time consuming as many companies believe. In fact, it’s much more expensive to not take the proper steps to secure your email, since loss of data through negligence can actually shut you down.
Email by nature is not secure, which makes it vital for executives to put protective measures in place. The bottom line: No company is safe from hackers, and the more security you have, the better off you’ll be.
Email Image via Shutterstock