Top 6 Tips to Improve Email Security for Your Business
Emailing is a valuable business tool allows people to engage and collaborate, anywhere in the world. It is the best method for digital communication and can be utilised for marketing campaigns and sales contracts. Although emails are essential for the business industry, they can be one of the weakest points in your IT security, posing a considerable risk of a data breach.
Nearly all of your personal and business information travels through your email accounts, making it even easier for hackers to steal intellectual property. Companies must upgrade firewalls, strengthen IT infrastructure, and train employees in data protection. Please keep reading to learn our top six tips to improve your email security and ensure your business is safe!
1. Evaluate Your Email Server Content
You’d be surprised at just how much sensitive information your email consists of. It could be detrimental to your business if the personal details of your clients were compromised. It’s not just about your account information being attacked, but that of your current and future customers as well. Go through your databases and evaluate whether the content you store would wreak havoc for your company if it were leaked. There are many cloud storage options outside of your email server where you could store your data–don’t just keep everything in one place; and if you do ensure it has the right level of security.
2. Manage Your Passwords
For years, tech experts have been telling users to choose strong passwords to protect their information adequately. Although everyone knows this, most of us use simple passwords that consist of our birthdays or pet names. How many of your accounts even use the same password because you don’t want to create new ones? These codes are straightforward to break as hackers use software to run your password through dictionary words, so if you use an existing word, it’s easier to break into.
The best passwords are ones that are long and don’t make any sense. They should mix lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters in entirely random order. It is much more challenging for someone to crack a code when it’s jumbled up for no reason. Your accounts should also all have different passwords! If a hacker gets one of your passwords, they can quickly gain access to your other accounts and steal even more sensitive information.
It’s difficult for anyone to remember dozens of random passwords, so have your employees utilise digital password managers to store them all in a secure place online. However, ensure that their primary account password is kept only in their head. Remind those that don’t like using manager applications and prefer writing passwords down to keep them somewhere safe and hidden.
3. Change Passwords
It’s not enough to just make a strong password. You need to make sure that you and your employees regularly change them, too. It is more challenging for someone to hack into your email servers when they are constantly changed. You could schedule a password reset every month or business quarter to remind your employees to do it.
Protect your email accounts even further by adding security questions that are difficult for hackers to figure out. You would be surprised at how easy it is to find out your elementary school or first pet’s name, especially if you post regularly on social media. The questions and answers should be obscure and challenging to guess. Additionally, alter your email settings to include an account lock so that it shuts down after you input a certain number of incorrect passwords. Remember to keep your secondary contact account–either a phone number or other email account–up to date and secure so that you receive notifications whenever a reset is necessary.
4. Utilise Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor authentication is growing ever more popular as it strengthens your IT security considerably. It’s also called “two-step verification” or “second sign-in verification.” You’ve most likely used this method for other accounts, where you input a code sent via text message or email. You only have a couple of minutes to use the code for your log-in before needing to generate a new one. Sending confirmation codes to your cellular device is an excellent defense against hackers, as it’s unlikely that they can gain access to it. If they’ve already broken into one email account, it’s easier for them to access another, so avoid using a second email account for the two-step authentication.
Set up this system within your own business IT system, so your employees are required to use a verification code each time they wish to log into their account. Most email servers also have an option to “trust this device,” meaning that a specific computer’s IP address will only require the authentication the first time around. Once it’s been trusted, your employees can continue to log in normally.
5. Enable Email Security Filters
Nearly every email server includes privacy filters in its settings that can block potential scams or malware. The system reads through and inspects content from suspicious accounts, judging whether it’s unsafe to open. It will immediately flag the content as spam or harmful content for you. Set up this filter for your email servers for an additional defense to your cybersecurity. You can prematurely block attachments from senders who have malicious intent.
6. Never Use Public Wifi Networks
It’s very convenient for public places to offer free Wi-Fi. You and your employees might be tempted to access your work accounts when logged into the network, but know that these networks are easy targets for hackers to steal your data. If you must use public Wi-Fi when at a coffee shop, airport, or hotel, make sure you have two-factor authentication set up and that you use a VPN. A Virtual Protection Network can hide your computer and information from potential threats, even serving as cybersecurity when at work.
Nearly everyone struggles with the constant barrage of phishing attacks or scam emails encouraging you to click their link. Teach your employees to recognise when something is fake and avoid opening malicious content to prevent hackers from stealing your business information or infecting your IT systems. Your employees’ instincts are your last line of defence for your email and data protection. Train them to practice email security and utilize these top tips to ensure your data stays secure.
If you require Email Security advice or want to look at IT Managed Services, we would be more than happy to have a no-obligation chat about how we can help
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