You work hard for your business, but are you working just as hard to protect your business from cybercrime?
If not, then you might be in store for a rude awakening.
Notorious members of the hackersphere target vulnerable businesses. Once they determine your weak spots, they get to exploiting your business.
This could come in the form of deleting data or stealing proprietary information, selling login credentials, depleting finances, and more.
Beefing up your email security is a great first step to defending your business against cybercrime. When it comes to your business, employee vulnerabilities could lead bad-willed tech geniuses to your most valuable assets.
To help protect you and your business, read on to learn the 5 foolproof ways to boost your employee’s email security.
5 Foolproof Ways To Boost Your Employee’s Email Security
According to IBM’s 2019 Cost Of A Data Breach Report, “While malicious breaches are most common, inadvertent breaches from human error and system glitches are still the root cause for nearly half (49 percent) of the data breaches studied in the report.”
This tells us that it is critical for the success of any business to educate everyone involved on the importance of email security.
Make sure your employees report any suspicious emails to you or your IT manager. This will allow you to keep tabs on phishing attempts and alert others in your office on what to look out for. It’s critical that you have an IT professional doing the research and keeping up with trends of the hackersphere.
Do you have an IT expert to install and track your systems? Contact Brooks IT Services to learn how we can get your systems secured and protected.
1. Use Unique Passwords & Change Them Often
The simplest way to go about keeping you and your employees’ emails secure is to mandate password protocols. As a rule of thumb, passwords should be unique and change often. For instance, your office could require all passwords to change every 3 months.
To be unique, passwords should be at least 8 characters in length and consist of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. In addition to these guidelines, it is imperative that passwords do not contain personal information.
Especially now, it’s simple to research a person’s entire life online. Because of this, you should never use personal information in passwords. Personal information may include, but is not limited to:
- Pet names
- Streets that you, your family, or friends have lived on
- Teacher names
- Birthdays (yours, your children, your parents, your siblings, etc.)
- Job title
- Favorite food
- Cities or states that you’ve lived in
- Vacation spots
- And more
Furthermore, it is vital that passwords are not reused across multiple websites. Logins for every website and application should be different and unique. According to Forbes, “of passwords recovered from breaches in 2020, 60% of victims had reused at least one password across multiple platforms.”
If you’re having a hard time coming up with a unique password, get creative.
You’d be better off just hitting random numbers on the keyboard before using any word or phrase that can be linked to you.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
In the event that the wrong person has you or an employee’s password, two-factor authentication keeps you protected.
While having a unique password is very important, sometimes people slip up. For instance, consider a situation where an employee is grabbing a cup of joe from a coffee shop.
While in line, your employee decides to check their email. Then to save on cellular data, they connect to the coffee shop’s free WiFi. Unfortunately, there is a hacker set up in the coffee shop waiting for this opportunity. Said hacker has spoofed the WiFi, redirecting everyone in the shop to their own router. Now, the hacker has access to everything linked to your employee’s phone. Bam. Your entire business is at risk of being hacked.
However, if your email security protocols include two-factor authentication, you might be in good shape. Because with two-factor authentication they would need to confirm their identity through email or text message.
3. Educate Employees Of Common & Recent Phishing Attempts
Education is key when it comes to protecting your and your employees’ email security.
If you want your employees to take the protocols seriously, then it is important that they understand the risks.
Phishing attacks often appear to come from organizations that you know and trust. The point of the emails is to trick you into handing over personal information. Or to click on a link that will install a virus on your device. The creative evil geniuses behind these phishing attempts come up with new strategies daily.
First of all, if any organization is requesting personal information, close the email. Go to that organization’s website, but not through links within the email. Contact customer service through the contact information listed on the official website. Confirm that they actually are requesting the information and find out how to send it securely.
Second, look at email addresses. For instance, say you receive an email from Target asking you to confirm your online shopping account details. Does the email address look legit? Check for variations in the spelling, extra characters, and non-US domains. If it looks strange, it is almost certainly a phishing scam.
Third, you may receive an email requesting money or threatening to delete all your information. These are scams that only work if someone gives in, responds, and pays. They most likely don’t have any information besides your email address. And if they do happen to have any of your proprietary data, don’t trust them. There is no way of knowing that they’ll actually return it after payment.
4. Only Check Email On Secure WiFi Networks
Insecure WiFi networks could result in the fall of your business. Email security protocols should include rules against checking work emails from insecure WiFi networks.
Keep in mind the above coffee shop scenario we went over. Anywhere that WiFi is available to the public is not secure. Moreover, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make sure your online activities are anonymous. Without a VPN, an internet service provider could access your entire browsing history. In addition, they could access everything from websites to passwords.
Does your business have IT security protocols in place? If not, reach out to Brooks IT Services today to protect your business, yourself, and your employees.
5. Update Antivirus & Antispyware Software Regularly
We hope that you have antivirus and antispyware software installed on all your business devices. If not, talk to an IT professional about setting that up right away.
Additionally, for antivirus and antispyware software to work effectively, they must be updated regularly. It is through updates that the software learns of the latest viruses to be looking out for.
Moreover, hackers are notorious, but that doesn’t mean they’re not creative. The amount of money hackers stand to make on exploiting businesses’ vulnerabilities is enormous. Needless to say, many hackers are financially motivated.
Forbes article, Alarming Cybersecurity Stats: What You Need To Know For 2021 states, “Every minute, $2,900,000 is lost to cybercrime and top companies pay $25 per minute due to cybersecurity breaches.”
Preventable hacks could severely damage the identities and finances of you, your employees, and your business. Install and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software to prevent these attacks.
Ready To Have Confidence In Your Email Security?
While there are several things you can do on your own to improve your email security, hackers usually know ways around it.
Unless you are an IT professional, it’s critical to the success of your business that you enlist an IT expert. Brooks IT Services can help you set protocols, identify any vulnerabilities, and take charge of updating your protective software regularly.
Don’t go day to day hoping for the best. Get real confidence now with expert IT security from Brooks IT Services.