7 Tips your small business needs to know about email safety

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Don’t open attachments

Unless you’re expecting an attachment from someone it is generally good practice to avoid opening them. Lot’s of dangerous things can come from opening emails from unfamiliar people, but if you’re a business person a lot of your emails will be from strangers. However, if they didn’t tell you they were sending you one proceed with caution. A lot of spammers and hackers will send emails posing to be people only to infect your computer with a nasty virus when you open them. Create a new email or give them a call to confirm the authenticity of the email. If they confirm that they sent the email you can open it without worry, but if they didn’t delete it immediately.

Don’t click links

Links are another thing you need to look out for in emails. Even if you recognize the sender there could still be a danger. Make sure to always hover over the link to see where it leads, this is another trick that phishers use often. They will pose as a reputable source and try and send you to a website where they will steal your information. Popular scams are bank notifications, claims that your accounts have been compromised and you need to change your emails. But if you looked at the link you would notice a suspicious web address.

Use a spam filter

Spam filters are great for catching a lot of junk that would normally weigh down your inbox and are even pretty good at catching scam emails. Having them installed can make it easier for you to avoid these suspicious emails or get infected by malware. Spam filters basically look at all the emails that you receive and tag anything they think you may not be interested in or things that look suspicious. According to a few studies more than half the emails people receive are spam, which is what makes these filters so important. You can prevent employees from accidentally clicking on malicious emails and compromising their device. Besides cutting a major security issue it will also cut down on the amount of time your team spends deleting these kinds of emails.

Sign out

Signing out of a computer, and email is always a good practice to have. You should set a timer on all your devices to lock after a certain amount of inactivity in order to keep your devices and information safe. This is especially important with devices that are not your own, or on devices that other people have access to. Forgetting to log out of your accounts can lead to them being compromised if someone gains access to your account or the device is infected with malware.

Passwords

Passwords are very important to keep your accounts secure, which is why you should choose unique and complex ones for every account. But passwords alone are not enough to keep you protected in the age of sophisticated cybercrime. You should always opt for multi factor authentication when given the option. It adds an extra layer of security that makes it extremely difficult to gain access to your accounts. Needing both the password and a unique code sent directly to your phone or an app will make it near impossible for someone to access your account.

Phishing

One of the biggest ways cyber criminals gain access to your information is by sending fraudulent emails. Claiming that your accounts have been compromised they trick people into clicking a link that sends them to a fake webpage where they input their login information. A surprising number of people fall for this and end up loosing access to their accounts because they didn’t know any better. Making sure your staff is aware of these dangers is a big step in ensuring your business is safe from cyber-attacks.

Payment/wire fraud

Another popular scam is pretending to be an authority figure in a company and claiming to have lost their wallet and needing a credit card number sent to them or asking for a wire. This is especially common in businesses who are used to taking payments online. Or if you’re a company selling a service and awaiting a wire transfer these criminals sometimes email the company or customer. They send them a fake email pretending to be the business and intercept the wire or credit card information causing a panic. You should never take credit cards over email as they can be easily intercepted, or any personal information classified as sensitive.

 

Being secure means a few different things. The most important part about being secure is making sure that you are knowledgeable regarding how these criminals attack, and how you can keep information safe. Making sure you properly train your staff and give them the tools to be able to spot spam and phasing emails. Handling sensitive information and payments in a safe method so they are not intercepted or compromised. And practicing web safety are all a part of having a secure business in the online world.

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