Keeping your Email Secure

Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication. It eliminates the need for physical paper, ink, stamps, and transporting letters to and from. Email saves time, money, clutter, and allows for documentation of conversations.

Unfortunately, Email isn’t as secure as we would like it to be. But why is that? Email was originally intended to be on a much smaller scale. The original developers and users did not expect or foresee the massive use of email on a global scale that it is today.

There have been many innovations in securing your email data, but none are foolproof. So, that puts a responsibility on each user to do their part in keeping your company’s data secure!

A Few Statistics

  • The average American Worker will receive 126 emails per day. – Radicati

With this many emails, it’s easy to get “lazy” with your email habits.


  • 60% of emails are opened via a mobile device. – IBM

It’s harder to detect fraudulent emails from a mobile device, so extra precautions are necessary.


  • 87% of marketers use email to get your business. – CMI

With so much marketing email coming in, it’s no wonder that the fraudulent stuff slips through the cracks!

Phishing

We’ve talked numerous times on this blog about the dangers of Phishing scams and how to detect them. It’s always a good idea to revisit these with your team on a regular basis!  Here are some of them:


When it comes to Phishing, your best defense is your users! Training, Training, and more Training!!!


Use BCC

The BCC field in your email stands for Blind Carbon Copy. That means that when you BCC someone, no one else can see who is BCC’d.

BCC isn’t only for copying someone on the low down, it’s also for sending out mass mailings. For example, I may have an announcement that I want to send out to several of my clients. Instead of sending multiple emails, I might BCC everyone, then put my own email address in the “To” field. This keeps my client’s information secure AND it prevents someone from farming email addresses for other mass mailing or malicious purposes.

Encryption

By definition, encrypting data is disguising content so that it cannot be read by non-intended recipients. It is always a good practice to encrypt emails that may contain sensitive information such as financial or personal info.

Harbor has several policies in place in the background of your Microsoft 365 accounts. One of the most helpful is sending an email as encrypted. By adding the word “securemail” (no spaces) to either your subject line or in the body of the email, the email will then be sent encrypted.

There are further encryption options available when you log into your email using the Outlook Web App (OWA). You can access this by logging in at portal.office.com, then select Outlook. When you start a new message using OWA, you will see encryption options in the header after selecting the ellipsis.

  • Encrypt – Simply encrypts the message
  • Do Not Forward – Does not allow the recipient to forward this message, and also Encrypts the message.

Protect your Devices

Some may call it common sense, but one little slip-up and you’re in for trouble! Be careful with your devices when in public. Don’t leave your laptop open and logged in if your coffee is ready at Starbucks. Don’t walk away from your devices just to go to the restroom. It takes just a quick second and your device is gone or compromised.

Always have a pin or passcode on your devices!

Use SharePoint for file sharing

Not only is it safer, but SharePoint has built-in protections that email just won’t have. We can set it up for you and show you how to use it in a matter of minutes. Many of our clients are using this method and are having great success!

Even though email is widely used, it is not a secure method for communicating sensitive materials. Get your users trained on best practices and what to look out for and keep them brushed up on these skills! Wouldn’t you rather pay a small price for occasional training than have a huge loss due to phishing or ransomware? Harbor Computer Services can give you the training you need, specialized to your company’s needs. Give us a call before it’s too late!

About Harbor Computer Services


Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. We’re the smallest firm to have ever won this most prestigious award. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top 20 visionaries in small business IT by ChannelPro Magazine (2015). And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We are Concerned About The Success of Your Business

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