Businesses care a lot about security. Whether it’s closed circuit TV, having a pass to get in and out of the building, investing in a security guard or concierge, they want to protect their assets. Online it’s no different. Email security is vitally important; it isn’t just spam but also a virus, a phishing scam or identity theft. Keeping a business – its data and that of its clients – as safe and secure as possible is a growing concern.
Here are Giacom’s tips for email security;
Have a secure password
Five years ago you could have any email password you liked. Now you might have noticed when you setup some accounts they indicate how secure your password really is. Every email password has to have six characters, but you should opt for eight, mixing up letters and numbers. It is easier to remember if they are not case sensitive, but they’re more secure if you mix capitals.
Change your password regularly
Many companies now send out reminders to their staff to change their email once every three months or so. If there are secure logins to access a database or workspace then a gentle prompt to reset a password can be issued. At the BBC for example, along with most universities because work and data is so centralised, regular password changes are par for the course. The reasons are not just about keeping you on your toes; public computers can be more easily infected with spyware that tracks keyboard strokes. Changing password often helps security and helps beat the spies.
The importance of anti-virus software
Anti-virus software is vital to protect emails on their way in to your inbox. Updated regularly, a platform like Giacom’s scans every email that comes in, particularly if it’s from an unknown source and scans the contents of attachments.
Invest in a spam filter
Spam emails are the bane of every inbox. A filter will keep them out of the inbox or will flag them up, so you can decide yourself whether they are safe. This method works so well you don’t even have to know about them; filtering the threat into a separate folder. Giacom has four layers of security that each email is filtered through, including a boundary layer, a vulnerability detection, anti-virus protection and finally anti-spam. It runs 90 tests on every email making sure its safe before you receive it.
Never acknowledge spam
Every filter, however effective, might from time to time let the odd spam email through. If this happens do not click on it or reply. Often the phishing scam will be simply trawling through thousands of emails to find one that is active. Image blocking is part of this, activating images often alerts spammers to an active email address.
Do not use sensitive information
The rule of thumb is never to give out personal information via email, unless you know who’s asking. Many spam messages look authentic and many who have been duped have fallen for an official looking message. Banks and tax offices will now routinely tell customers they never get in touch via email, preferring telephone or post. A phishing scam can make you vulnerable to identify theft.
Always logout at the end of the day. If you’re leaving your computer unattended it’s best to sign out, even if you’re using webmail or a POP account.
Use the latest technology
Security is increasingly important to technology providers, be they hosting companies like Giacom or browsers and email platforms. The latest version of their software will usually have the best security protection, so update as often as you are asked.
Use secure networks
Being able to email wherever and whenever might have changed our work patterns but if we use unusual networks it can open us to risk of threat. A business ISP will be safe but a public network might not be as secure. If using such a network, be careful about the emails you send and be aware you might be in as safe a place online.