Despite the burgeoning popularity of instant messaging platforms like Skype, Viber, and Facetime it is a fact that offices still rely on email for communication. It might seem archaic to you but there is very good reason for it and that is because they want to keep a trail of all the conversations and interactions. However useful email may be, it also poses some dangers. Email communication can spread viruses by way of attachments, and messages can harbor phishing links that lead to fake websites so nefarious elements can get your login details.
Tech giants Facebook and Google are working to establish a new standard called DMARC that aims to reduce these threats once and for all. While waiting for that though, you need effective ways to help secure your work email and below are some suggestions you are sure to find handy!
Use a strong password – Your password is perhaps the first and most important line of defense you can set in place for your email. Granted, most email clients require one but there are many ways to bypass this. For instance, if you use outlook on a laptop and there is no log in screen, that leaves all your downloaded emails exposed even if you did use a password to download your email. Also, think of the email app on your phone; if your mobile doesn’t have a PIN, then your email app in there is in danger as well. When creating a password, try to make it more complex, and don’t use your birthday or your anniversary date! Use a mix of letters and special characters to better protect work email, and even personal email.
Use HTTPS – If you are to use a web-email system then make sure that you use a secure HTTPS method. What this does is it encrypts your data as it makes its way over the Internet. The HTTPS methods also makes it that much harder for hackers to intercept your data so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Some email system like Google or Hotmail offer you the option to use HTTPS when you access your mail but if you do not see it automatically, then check for the “HTTPS” at the very beginning of the address on your browser. If you are using a newer browser model, then look for the green padlock icon as a sign that the website is safe, so you can protect work email effectively.
Avoid unknown attachments – Be careful with those attachments that arrive with your emails as they may contain malware and viruses. Only open email attachments if you know you are expecting them from familiar people. If you doubt the authenticity of the attachment, send an email to the sender and verify if he did intended to send you an email. If your email client suggests you go for a virus scan then by all means go for it and save yourself from a lot of trouble in the future. You may also want to use Dropbox or other cloud storage services to share files since they are safer.
Have you ever had trouble with your work email? What happened and what did you do to rectify the situation? Share your thoughts below!