Unfortunately, phishing is a widespread practice on the internet, with hackers attempting to access private files and utilize them against their owners. Whether this occurs in a business setting or directly to an individual’s files, the perpetrator can gain access to valuable financial or private information.
Over 96% of phishing attacks arrive by email, making this the most pressing method to be aware of when staying safe online. Due to this majority, it’s essential to understand how to manage your email security to reduce the possibility of falling prey to one of these threats.
Especially when running an enterprise, where users log onto a cloud email account associated with your business, it’s essential that they don’t accidentally expose company information. In this article, we’ll be exploring the best three practices for cloud email security, helping keep you and your staff safe when using cloud email services.
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Passwords and the creation of strong passwords
A hacker can use the easiest method to gain entry to a cloud email account by simply guessing the password. While someone unfamiliar with security may think it strange that someone could guess a password, they fail to realize that this is typically an automatic process rather than a manual one.
Some hackers will have software that will actively enter password after password into the system, testing them out in a brute force attack method. One of the best ways of ensuring that this brute force method will not penetrate your account is to create a solid and complex password. While most of the time, these forms of passwords are recommended, it’s always good to remind your employees that they should include:
- Non-sequential passwords (qwerty or abcd is a bad idea)
- Use numbers
- Use capitals
- Use punctuation marks or additional signs
As the password becomes more complicated, even by adding one more character, it because much more difficult to guess. Equally, you should always be sure to use a different password for different accounts. This means that if one password is breached, it doesn’t lead to the corruption of your whole account.
Another surefire way to decrease the chances of a hacker gaining entry into your email account is to set up a multifactor authentication connected to the account. Services like Gmail offer this as a default setting, sending a notification to the user’s mobile phone that asks them to confirm their identity before logging on.
This two-step factor dramatically increases the potential of an employee to retain ownership of their account. Even if someone were to gain access to their password, they still wouldn’t be able to get onto the account without hacking the user’s mobile phone. Hacking both a laptop and a phone is very unlikely, making it harder to gain access.
The majority of cloud email security services now recommend incorporating MFA as a core pillar of security.
While this is the broadest tip, it is also perhaps the most important of all of them. When attempting to stay safe online, an individual needs to know precisely what acts as a danger and what is safe. Without this fundamental knowledge, they cannot effectively make decisions that will keep them safe.
Instilling a few core values and ideas with an individual can go a long way in helping them stay safe and recognize a threat before falling for it. First, when they receive an email from an email address they’ve never had contact with, the best practice is to never open any links or attachments in that email.
Even if they seem correct, links can carry a user to a fake website where they’ll enter their details and accidentally give away all of their login information. This is especially true when someone receives an email that seems to be from a service that they regularly use, like a bank. While the email address may seem similar, it could be slightly different, with a hacker emulating the email for nefarious purposes.
Equally, by educating people on what a typical phishing scam looks like, an individual will be more aware of any potential attacks that are being launched on them. It only takes a few minutes to email someone and double-checks if they’re the person behind the email.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to avoid links over email. Instead of tapping on links, users should navigate from a blank homepage to the site they’re directed to, ensuring they end up where they were meant to go.
From email attachments to dodgy links, staying safe online is often more about common sense and recognizing the signs than anything else. By educating people on cybersecurity, your business won’t be one of the 86% of organizations that experienced a phishing attack due to an employee clicking on a link they shouldn’t have.
An email account is a treasure trove of information containing associated accounts, private files, and documents meant for the user’s eyes only. Suppose a hacker can gain access to an email account. In that case, they have the potential to wreak havoc on the user, exposing their information, changing their passwords to other services, and holding their whole digital attack surface at ransom.
To combat this, it’s essential to take a holistic approach to email security. Not only should you educate people on the best internet safety practices, but also use the best email monitoring software and security tools. From investing in designated cloud email security programs to multifactor authentication channels, you can never be too careful about your personal information.
If you’re looking to stay safe online, incorporate these tips into your daily life. Together, they will significantly reduce the chance of your accounts falling into the wrong hands.