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Protecting Your Reputation by Keeping Your Email Safe

Email is a crucial part of every business’s marketing strategy. It is a versatile tool that allows companies to communicate and build relationships with customers. However, email is also one of the main avenues for cyberattacks.

Protecting Your Reputation by Keeping Your Email Safe

According to Cisco, about 84% of worldwide email traffic is spam. Without securing your email channels, you risk exposing your business and customers to threats and potentially ruining your reputation.

That is why it’s essential to keep your email safe to maintain business trustworthiness.

In this article, we will look at six best practices to secure your email and reap the benefits of email marketing.

1. Choose a Secure Hosting Solution

Your hosting provider plays an important role. It is the foundation of your website and email that contains all the required files for them to run properly. That is why choosing a secure hosting provider is vital for your reputation.

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A good provider not only provides an advanced web hosting tool for clients; it also needs to protect your mail accounts from spam, malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks.

Benefits such as backup capabilities and service uptime also need to be considered when choosing email hosting.

Don’t forget to research other factors such as pricing plans and the quality of customer support. These aspects are important to ensure your email service works optimally and is protected from various cyberattack threats.

2. Secure Your Passwords

Your passwords are the first line of defense for your online accounts, including email. Without a strong password, your email is more vulnerable to cyberattacks, particularly brute force attacks.

According to Verizon, 80% of data breach cases in 2020 involved brute force or the use of lost or stolen credentials.

Because of that, we need to pay more attention to password strength. The best practice is to make passwords long, unique, and memorable. NIST and Microsoft advise a minimum length of eight characters.

Try to combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols for your password to increase its complexity. It is also important to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

Password manager Tools such as LastPass and 1password let users manage and store their passwords online, so they don’t have to remember all of them.

3. Be Aware of Email Phishing

Email phishing is a type of social engineering aimed to trick people into clicking malicious links in fake emails. Phishing email messages are typically created to look like they come from official parties such as financial institutions, shipping companies, or government agencies.

Phishing is one of the most common types of cyberattacks, has affected around 75% of organizations worldwide in 2020. According to Symantec, the top five subject lines used in phishing emails include urgent, request, important, payment, and attention.

It is important to recognize the signs of email phishing and find ways to avoid it. BrandShield Anti-Phishing and Avanan are two examples of useful software that can help you fight such threats.

4. Avoid Downloading Suspicious Attachments

Hackers might also attempt to breach your system using email attachments. The attached files may contain malware or spyware that will infect your system once you open the file. Some of the most common file formats used for this purpose include pdf, Xls, and doc.

Cyberattackers choose these formats because they are universally trusted in the modern workplace. Always double-check the sender’s information before downloading an attached file to avoid being exposed to this kind of attack.

Remember to avoid accessing attachments from messages marked as spam. Ensure your antivirus software is active and up-to-date since it can help you detect suspicious emails and file attachments.

Some document-processing software like Office 365 can also open attachments in a sandbox to prevent malicious activity.

5. Train Employees on Email Security

Human error is one of the biggest contributing factors to most cybersecurity issues. According to a study by Stanford University, around 88% of all data breaches are caused by employee mistakes. Companies can minimize this risk by educating employees about email security.

Regular employee training is essential to make them aware of various cybersecurity threats and how to handle them. Consider conducting attack simulations from time to time to help employees recognize what a malicious email might look like in real life.

It is also in your best interest to establish a clear and strict cybersecurity procedure in your company. Don’t allow employees to use company devices for activities not related to work and limit access to sensitive information to further minimize risks.

6. Avoid Sharing Sensitive Information via Email

Once you send information through a message online, you no longer have control over it or how it may be used. Because of that, we recommend not sharing sensitive information such as passwords, bank account numbers, and social security numbers via email.

Keep in mind that legitimate entities like credit card companies, banks, or PayPal won’t ask for any of this information. Therefore, any request for sensitive data via email is most likely a fraud attempt and should not be responded to.

If you have to send sensitive information, consider using end-to-end encryption. Messenger applications such as WhatsApp and Signal use this technology to secure users’ conversations. Web-based file-sharing tools like SafeRequest are also a good option.

Conclusion

A lot of companies use email marketing to grow their business. Email is a cheap and accessible way to communicate and build positive relationships with existing and past customers. However, email marketing also poses many risks, including cyber threats.

That is why securing your email is important to get the most out of email marketing. In this article, we have looked at six tips to protect your email from potential cyberattacks, including:

  • Choose a secure hosting solution
  • Secure your passwords
  • Be aware of phishing
  • Avoid downloading suspicious attachments
  • Train employees on email security
  • Avoid sharing sensitive information via email

Follow the tips above to maintain your email security and optimize your email marketing efforts.

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