301-571-5040    Get SUPPORT

Washington Works Blog

Email Security Basics

Email Security Basics

Email is a modern classic as far as business solutions are concerned, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an office that didn’t use it in some capacity or another. However, because email is so popular, it has become a favorite attack vector of malicious users. Fortunately, there are some basic practices that will help keep your email account secure and your communications private.

Follow Password Guidelines
As you might imagine, one of the most important, basic ways that you can lock down your email account is to ensure that your password is sufficiently strong. Too often, breach statistics (and similar data sets) reveal that passwords are still overwhelmingly insecure. Pet names, birthdays and anniversaries, and favorite sports teams are used as passwords far more than they should be, as are common keyboard patterns, like qwerty, asdf, and the like. Some minimal social engineering could very easily provide someone with access to an email account they have no business being in.

To counter this, avoid the temptation to resort to formulaic, easy-to-guess password systems - like, for instance, smushing your alma mater’s mascot together with the number of your childhood home. Again, these password conventions are the first things that a cybercriminal will try if they want to get into your email account. Instead, do your best to rely on an as-random-as-possible string of numbers and letters - creating a different one for each of your accounts. This will ensure that your passwords are as strong as possible with the added benefit of protecting the rest of your accounts if one of your passwords is discovered.

Of course, for the sake of pragmatism, is it totally realistic to remember a completely random string of alphanumeric characters for everything that requires a password? For many, it isn’t. That’s why many resort to using, rather than a password, a passphrase. A passphrase takes a sentence memorable to the individual and turns it into a mnemonic device. So, a fan of films by Rob Reiner could take a line from one of his works and create a password from it, like “uRdBS” or “HFSTC” from The Princess Bride, or “UCHTT” from A Few Good Men.

Avoid the Unknown
Once you’ve accessed your email, there are a few ways that you can avoid putting yourself at risk. One very important way is to avoid the links in email unless you have verified that they do, in fact, go to (and come from) where they appear to.

First, where will the included link direct you? Links can be tricky things, which makes them a favorite of cybercriminals to use in emails. If the link is attached to text, you should hover over it and peek at the status bar that pops up before clicking on it. While the text might say that it brings you to the sender’s official webpage, the link could very well actually direct you to a domain that uploads a virus into your system. If the status bar says that you will be directed to someplace that doesn’t look quite right, skip the link.

You also shouldn’t blindly open an email that hasn’t come from a known or verified source, and even that can now be dangerous. There is a tactic that can be used to great effect as a way to snare even the most cybersecurity-mindful targets called email spoofing. As its name suggests, email spoofing is the act of forging an email’s header so that it appears to have come from someone else, likely someone trusted enough that the email will be opened, read, and interacted with.

As a result, it is best to verify the email with the cited sender whenever possible, through a different means of communication. Whether that means a quick phone call or instant message before you open the email, it is better to be safe than it is to be sorry.

What are some other ways that you keep your email from becoming a security risk? Share them in the comments, and make sure you take a moment and subscribe to this blog!

Varieties of Smart Tech to Consider
3 Industries that Smart Technology is Revolutioniz...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, September 25 2018
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Privacy Cloud Business Computing Malware Email Hackers Software Tech Term Network Security Business Internet Mobile Devices Computer Managed IT Services Backup Hosted Solutions Microsoft Ransomware Data User Tips IT Support Productivity Google Productivity Data Recovery IT Services Smartphone Data Backup Android Managed Service Provider Cloud Computing Outsourced IT Workplace Tips Efficiency Hardware Paperless Office Windows 10 Communication Small Business Encryption Data Management Business Continuity Innovation Office 365 Social Media Remote Monitoring Browser Save Money Business Management Disaster Recovery Government Unified Threat Management Phishing BYOD Artificial Intelligence Work/Life Balance Facebook Infrastructure Tip of the week Server App Cybersecurity Smartphones Bandwidth Vulnerability IT Management VoIP SaaS Managed IT Services Two-factor Authentication Wi-Fi Hosted Solution Passwords File Sharing Word Password Document Management Apps Employer-Employee Relationship Chrome Windows 10 Money Network Applications Chromebook Windows Big Data Virtual Reality BDR Managed Service Risk Management Saving Money Internet of Things How To Antivirus Collaboration Compliance Healthcare Holiday Data loss Blockchain Samsung Computer Care Gmail Firewall Regulations Physical Security Politics Twitter Taxes How To IoT Storage Computing VPN Training Quick Tips Data Security Maintenance Tech Support Server Management Office Websites Robot Business Technology Virtual Private Network Hacker HIPAA Recovery Botnet Remote Computing Customer Relationship Management Mobile Security Automobile Mobile Device Website Smart Technology Machine Learning Identity Theft Automation Information Point of Sale Patch Management Vendor Management Scam Telephone Systems Router Alert Health G Suite High-Speed Internet Crowdsourcing GPS Time Management Mobile Device Management Multi-Factor Security Mirgation Professional Services Monitoring Emoji Connectivity Private Cloud Networking User Error Asset Tracking Motion Sickness Managed IT Service Modem Enterprise Content Management Computing Infrastructure Value MSP Electronic Medical Records Downtime IT Budget Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Specifications Management Cyberattacks Development Personal Information Office Tips Tracking Network Management Google Calendar USB Consulting Web Server YouTube Permissions Error Printer Wearable Technology OneNote Update Managed IT Augmented Reality Break Fix Cookies Unified Communications Alerts Proactive Legal Digital Payment Black Friday Social Networking Enterprise Resource Planning Files IT Consultant Analytics Fraud Star Wars Cables IT Support Touchscreen Legislation Chatbots Dongle Managed Services Provider Cameras Settings IBM Social Communications Notifications Staffing Google Drive Access Control Employee-Employer Relationship Meetings Corporate Profile Outlook The Internet of Things Dark Web Nanotechnology Bring Your Own Device Lenovo Gadgets Budget Licensing Remote Monitoring and Management Sports Cybercrime Solid State Drive Statistics Microsoft Office Cyber Monday Motherboard Mobile Read Only IT Solutions Cost Management Wires Computer Repair Administrator Cabling Mouse Identity Service Level Agreement E-Commerce Virtualization Law Enforcement CCTV Digital Mail Merge Vulnerabilities VoIP Techology SharePoint Remote Workers Webcam WannaCry Shortcut Microsoft Excel Screen Reader Firefox Superfish Cooperation WPA3 Search Hard Disk Drive Bluetooth Company Culture Upgrades Processors Education Hotspot Assessment Tablet Utility Computing Features Gadget Spyware Address Geography WiFi Avoiding Downtime Downloads IT Technicians Monitors Upgrade Smart Tech Unified Threat Management Staff Fleet Tracking Travel Distributed Denial of Service Managing Stress Help Desk Relocation Cleaning Spam Language Internet Exlporer Supercomputer Disaster Heating/Cooling Wireless Comparison Electronic Health Records Cortana Black Market Public Speaking Presentation Emergency Lithium-ion battery Hiring/Firing Fun Wireless Technology 5G Safety Marketing Competition IP Address Hard Drives Users Printers Customer Service Miscellaneous Mobile Office Domains Regulation CrashOverride