The amount of information we send via email each day is astounding. From sensitive personal data, bank details for payments to images and attachments. It’s essential to ensure anything you send is safe and secure to prevent those emails and private data falling into the wrong hands.
Most email accounts are password protected, but email still remains one of the least secure communications channels.
To keep your emails safe from prying eyes, there are a number of things you can do.
5 steps to take to be more email secure:
1. Strong passwords
The first weak point of email security is the account password. Many people are guilty of using the same weak password for several accounts, so it’s an easy entry point for hackers.
To make your password fortress safe, steer clear of using common phrases such as ‘password1’ and use a combination of unrelated letters, numbers and symbols. It always helps to change your password on a regular basis too, so set a reminder to mix things up on a quarterly basis. Read our guide to creating memorable passwords here.
2. Encrypt sensitive information
Not all emails need to be encrypted, but if they contain sensitive data such as passwords, bank details or anything you wouldn’t want others to see, it’s best to think before you hit send and decide if the email warrants encryption. Want to learn more about how you can encrypt emails? Get in touch with us.
3. Create a secure contacts list
If you send sensitive data on a regular basis to certain people, you can set up a secure contacts list that will automatically encrypt any message you send to these recipients.
Also think about the email account you’re using to send these emails. If it’s a work Outlook account, you wouldn’t want the IT department seeing personal emails you are sending to your solicitor or accountant for example, so it’s best to keep your personal and work emails completely separate.
4. Turn on two-factor authentication
Hacking doesn’t just happen to those who are a little lax when it comes to email security, and if it’s ever happened to you, you’ll understand just how frustrating being hacked can be.
That’s why regardless of the email provider you use, you should always turn on two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication requires you to enter a code sent to your mobile device each time you attempt to log in from a new device such as PC or laptop. It might seem like an unnecessary waste of time if you’re rushing to access your emails, but its worth the few extra minutes of your time to avoid the damage caused to you and your contacts in the event your account is compromised.
5. Invest in security awareness training
Investing in a security awareness training service for your team means you will be able to reduce the likelihood that they will click on spam or phishing emails. The training doesn’t take long to complete and covers key current topics, such as Email Phishing and CEO Fraud. The service also sends out regular fake phishing emails to test employees. If they click a link on one of the fake phishing emails you will be notified, and in some cases additional training may be required. By completing the training yourself and offering it to your employees, you will be giving your team the tools they need to stay email secure.