Email is a vital way to stay connected with colleagues, clients, and customers. However, it’s important to remember that email can also be a vulnerable channel for information exchange. Here are five tips to help keep your email safe and secure.

1. Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your birth date. You can also try a password generator tool such as NordPass to create a strong and secure password.

If you have trouble remembering a strong password, try using a passphrase instead. A passphrase is a series of unrelated words strung together, like “correcthorsebatterystaple” replacing letters with numbers and special characters will help you to add an extra layer of security, the same passphrase can be transformed into look something like “C0rrecthorseb@tterystapl3”. Using passphrases will make it easier to remember your password whilst giving you a secure option for a strong password.

2. Stay away from suspicious links or attachments.
If you receive an email from an unknown sender with a link, don’t click it! Cybercriminals often use phishing scams to try and trick people into clicking malicious links that will download malware onto their computer or redirect them to a fake website where they will be asked to enter personal or financial information. If you’re unsure about the validity of an email, contact the sender directly to confirm before clicking any links.

Attachments can be dangerous. Similarly to links, email attachments can also contain malware. Be cautious of opening email attachments from unknown senders or even attachments from known senders if you weren’t expecting them. If you must open the attachment, make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer.

3. Encrypt your email.
Encryption is a way of coding email so that only the intended recipient can read it. This is important if you’re sending sensitive information via email as it helps to protect the data from being intercepted by cybercriminals. It is possible to achieve this with third-party apps or native client solutions like Microsoft 365 email encryption.

4. Be aware of what type of information you’re sending via email – including confidential or sensitive data.
When sending an email, think about what information you’re including in the message. Avoid sharing confidential or personal information via email where possible. If you must share this type of information, make sure you’re only sending it to people who need to see it and that the email is encrypted.

Remember to never share passwords or financial information via email, always use a password manager solution like 1Password or LastPass to share sensitive credentials.

5. Enable two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account. When you enable this feature, you’ll need to provide both your password and a code that’s generated by an app or sent to your phone. That way, even if someone guesses your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the code. Many platforms offer two-factor authentication, including Google and Microsoft.

Bonus: Beware of phishing scams – these are emails designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information.

Cybercriminals will often pose as a trusted entity, like your bank or even Apple, in an attempt to get you to enter personal or financial information on a fake website. They may also try and trick you into clicking a malicious link that will download malware onto your computer. If you’re ever unsure about the validity of an email, contact the sender directly to confirm before taking any further action.

Stay alert for typos and trust your gut – if something looks off, it probably is.

Phishing emails often contain typos or grammatical errors. They may also use a fake or spoofed email address in an attempt to look like a legitimate sender. If an email looks suspicious, trust your instinct and delete it. Don’t open any attachments or click any links.

Email is an important communication tool, but it’s important to remember that it can also be a vulnerable channel for information exchange. Follow these five tips to help keep your email safe and secure. If you’re looking for more ways to protect your business’s confidential data, contact us today. We offer a variety of security solutions that will safeguard your company’s sensitive information.