With all the email risks out there, it is important that all employees pay attention to how email is used on a daily basis. It takes just one spam email to cause misery for you and your IT team, so reducing this risk makes perfect sense. Here are some basic tips to help keep your network safe:
- Never open emails that look suspicious, unusual or are from someone you don’t know where payment details or sensitive information is requested.
- Don’t click a link in an email unless you are sure it is safe to do so. If you’re not sure, just delete it.
- If you are not expecting an attachment in an email and you don’t know the sender, don’t open it. A lot of malware masquerades as Word documents or other files. If in doubt, check with your IT department.
- Check your spam folders regularly just in case a legitimate email is caught by filters and white-list email addresses so it doesn’t happen again.
- Never give our personal details over email or fill in forms that pop up when you open an email . This is usually a sign of a phishing attempt.
- Don’t open or interact with messages from businesses you haven’t given your address to. If an organization already has your address, you need to be very wary. Ignore emails from banks asking you to update your details and go straight to the company’s website and login there just to be sure. Also, banks and other organizations should never contact you over work email .
- Be careful when using public Wi-Fi in places like bars or restaurants and only use trusted providers. Hackers like to spoof genuine SSIDs so they can steal passwords and user names.
- Never use the same password for your company email account as you do for your personal one.
- If you think you might have clicked on a malicious link or attachment, shut down your machine immediately and inform your IT department. This will allow them toisolate your machine from the rest of the network to minimize any damage.
- Don’t accept email calendar invites that look suspicious or are from people you don’t know. These are a relatively recent threat but if in doubt, delete the invite to be safe.
- Avoid posting your work email address on forums, websites and blogs unless it is necessary. It could be grabbed by a hacker and used for a spamming attack.
- Never download any software that is not approved by your IT department. If you get sent an attachment to download software that you are unaware of, delete it. If you do enable a download, it could open a backdoor to your machine where hackers can attack your network as part of a botnet .
If employees are made aware of what should be avoided when using email , a lot of security issues can be avoided. By making them use these simple rules, it will stay fresh in their memory and ensure safer work practices.