Email Security Best Practices: Do’s and Don’ts of Email Use

While email is a great tool both personally and professionally, it also poses one of the greatest threats to your business. Bad actors can use a variety of email scams such as ransomware, phishing, and a variety of other tools to not only disrupt personal computers, but also business technologies while gaining access to personal or business information that would be harmful for the outside world to have.

Luckily, there are a few quick steps you can take to make sure your email surfing is safe.

Critical Thinking

Sometimes all it takes is a minute to really evaluate the email coming into your inbox. It can be easy to see an email and immediately open it, but don’t take everything at face value. Before you open and click an email, think through a few of these questions:

  • Is the email from someone I recognize?
  • Are the requests of the email reasonable?
  • Am I expecting the email?
  • Is the email using emotional gauges like fear or urgency to entice an action?

By going through these quick steps, you (and your company) can save a lot of time, money, and unnecessary headaches.

Always Hover

If you get an email from someone you don’t know, always be weary of the contents of the email. One step you can take to check link sources is hovering over a link.

Before clicking any links in the email, hover your mouse over the link and the actual URL will appear. Double check to make sure the real URL is leading you to the right place — a legitimate website. For example, you don’t want to be clicking a link to ju-spandoo.de/82359/index[.]html. Hackers will also try to spoof the URL to look like the legitimate address. You want to investigate to make sure the domain is the same as the sender of the email.

If you, an employee or a coworker forgot any of these steps, it’s important to know how to react to a potential data breach.

What NOT To Do

While those quick steps can make sure you know what to do when you receive an email you might not find trustworthy, here are a few quick tips for what not to do to keep your computer safe.

  • Do not copy and paste the link into the URL section of your browser to check it. This is the same as clicking the link, and whomever sent that link will be achieving their end goal by you doing this.
  • Do not forward a suspected malicious email to other people. You don’t want to further the potential damage, especially within your company. What’s even worse – by forwarding this email, you’re making others feel comfortable with the original contents of the email because they will see it coming from your email address.
  • Do not open the malicious email on your mobile devices. While it’s becoming more and more common to check email on your phone or tablet, they are not immune to malware and viruses. With mobile shopping becoming more prevalent, these devices often house just as much personal information as your desktop/laptop does.
  • Do not solely rely on antivirus software. Though they’re a great first step and are updated often, this software protects against viruses with known signatures, leaving it susceptible to new malware.

While these are specific to your email browsing, these are only a few of the many ways to prevent a data breach.

Ongoing diligence and preparation are priceless, but as more information is stored and shared online, there is greater risk of data theft. Society Insurance offers one of the most comprehensive cyber liability programs available, covering both first-party losses and third-party liability claims if the unthinkable happens. When it comes to the safety of your business, there’s no time like the present to assess and upgrade your current data security measures and activate a policy with breach recovery services. Contact your local Society agent to learn more.

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