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
Sunday, December 16 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

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