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
Saturday, March 23 2019
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 Business Computing Cloud Productivity Privacy Malware Hackers Business Email Network Security Software Hosted Solutions Tech Term Internet Data Data Backup Computer IT Support Data Recovery Mobile Devices Innovation Backup User Tips Google Efficiency IT Services Ransomware Managed IT Services Business Management Microsoft Cloud Computing Hardware Workplace Tips Small Business Productivity Outsourced IT Smartphone Business Continuity Android Paperless Office Managed Service Provider Encryption Office 365 Remote Monitoring Social Media Collaboration Windows 10 Data Management Upgrade Save Money Smartphones Managed IT Services Windows 10 Server Communication Phishing Browser Employer-Employee Relationship Cybersecurity Holiday VoIP Disaster Recovery Bandwidth Government Communications BYOD Scam Antivirus Managed Service Windows Vulnerability Saving Money Information Work/Life Balance IT Management Facebook Healthcare App Quick Tips Automation Wi-Fi Business Technology Risk Management Artificial Intelligence Passwords BDR Unified Threat Management Apps Internet of Things Document Management Compliance Infrastructure Tip of the week Password Vendor Management Network Mobile Device Money Chromebook VPN Virtual Reality Maintenance Two-factor Authentication Word How To Applications Politics Chrome SaaS File Sharing Microsoft Office Customer Relationship Management Hosted Solution Big Data Blockchain Office Website Company Culture Gmail Regulations Recovery Social Automobile Data loss Storage IoT Machine Learning Remote Computing Identity Theft How To Point of Sale Wireless Telephone Systems Professional Services Mobile Device Management Data Security G Suite Access Control HIPAA Management Analytics Server Management Virtual Private Network Firewall Mobile Security Private Cloud Alert Computer Care Health Downtime Taxes Smart Technology Tech Support Tablet Samsung Training Electronic Medical Records Bring Your Own Device Physical Security Websites Twitter Hacker Router Computing Remote Monitoring and Management Meetings Employees Patch Management Botnet Robot Remote Workers Administrator Managed IT Service Modem Users Law Enforcement WPA3 CCTV RMM User Error Specifications Wasting Time Customer Service Webcam Zero-Day Threat Disaster Heating/Cooling Computing Infrastructure Value Utility Computing Notifications Features Google Calendar ROI Sports Geography Instant Messaging Time Management Permissions IT Solutions Education Financial Computer Repair Managing Stress Help Desk Networking Break Fix Cookies Virtualization Gadget Fleet Tracking Operating System Printer Wearable Technology Electronic Health Records WiFi Black Friday Social Networking Database Spam Backup and Disaster Recovery Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Alerts YouTube Legislation Chatbots Notes Search High-Speed Internet Travel Finance Network Management Fraud Star Wars Upgrades Relocation Processors Monitoring Cleaning Procurement Enterprise Content Management Bookmarks Supercomputer Dark Web Nanotechnology Asset Tracking Tech Terms Managed IT Cyberattacks GPS Cyber Monday Motherboard Voice over Internet Protocol MSP Human Error Licensing Settings Mouse Identity PowerPoint Development Motion Sickness Authentication IT Support Touchscreen Cost Management USB Consulting Security Cameras Unified Communications Augmented Reality Favorites IT Budget Google Drive Microsoft Excel Screen Reader Cortana Black Market OneNote Theft Corporate Profile Outlook SharePoint Enterprise Resource Planning Office Tips Crowdsourcing Files Tracking Lenovo Net Neutrality Emoji Proactive Web Server Permission Solid State Drive Statistics Cooperation Digital Mail Merge Virtual Assistant IBM Cables Authorization Cabling Hotspot Assessment Dongle Error Managed Services Provider Downloads IT Technicians Printing The Internet of Things Project Management Digital Payment VoIP Techology Smart Tech Employee-Employer Relationship IT Consultant WannaCry Shortcut Personal Information Mobile Read Only Firefox Superfish Distributed Denial of Service Windows 7 Gadgets Budget Cameras Test Hard Disk Drive Bluetooth Unified Threat Management Staff Spyware Address Comparison Software as a Service Update Wires Language Internet Exlporer Service Level Agreement E-Commerce Staffing Multi-Factor Security Mirgation Remote Worker Legal Vulnerabilities Cybercrime Conferencing Avoiding Downtime Connectivity Monitors Printers CrashOverride Miscellaneous Mobile Office Domains Emergency Hard Drives Regulation Public Speaking Presentation Lithium-ion battery Wireless Technology 5G Safety Marketing Hiring/Firing Competition Fun IP Address