Does your small business use email? There’s no denying the fact that email is a faster and more convenient way to communicate than traditional “snail mail.” Perhaps this is why the average office worker in the United States now receives over 120 emails each day. When using email for business-related purposes, though, there are certain rules you should follow to protect against phishing, malware and other cyber threats.
#1) Verify Attachments Before Downloading
An all-too-common mistake business owners, as well as employees, make when using email is downloading file attachments without verifying them. If you don’t verify a file attachment, you may unknowingly download and infect your computer with malware. Therefore, you should contact the person listed as the “sender” using an alternative method than email to ensure that the file attachment is legitimate.
#2) Don’t Use Your Personal Email Account
It’s important to use a separate email account for business and work. What’s wrong with using your personal email account for business exactly? Well, your personal email account may lack the security standards and safeguards as found in your business email account. And if your personal email account is hacked, your business’s data could be jeopardized. You can prevent this from happening by avoiding the use of a personal email account for business-related purposes.
#3) Only Access Through a Secure Wi-Fi
Never access your email account through an open Wi-Fi. For maximum protection against cyber threats, use a secure Wi-Fi. If the Wi-Fi in your business’s workplace is open and unprotected, any emails that you send or receive could be intercepted. As a result, the information contained in those emails will be compromised. By using a secure Wi-Fi to access your email account, you’ll be better protected against cyber threats.
#4) Be Cautious of Links
File attachments aren’t the only way that hackers deploy malware through email. Some hackers use links instead. A hacker, for example, may include a link in an email that points to a website used to deploy malware. The link may look legitimate, but when you click it, you’ll be redirected to a website that infects your computer with malware.
#5) Use a Strong Password
Don’t underestimate the importance of a strong password for your email account login. Research shows weak passwords are one of the most common causes for data breaches. If you use a short or otherwise weak password for your email account, a hacker could gain access to your account by performing a brute-force attack.