Electronic mail, more commonly known as email, is an essential tool for communication and collaboration, but it also presents risks to your personal and financial information. At Intermax Networks, we work hard to educate both our employees and customers on electronic communication. So, we decided to put together what we considered to be some of the most beneficial practices to help protect yourself and your email from scams and other threats:
Use a strong, unique password
Your email password is the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your account. Creating a secure, one-of-a-kind password that is difficult to guess is essential, and should not be used for more than one account. Reusing passwords is one of the most common mistakes. The more you use a password, the easier it is for an intruder to guess or hack.
You should also consider changing your password every few months as an added security measure. There are even password managers you can use to keep track of and help protect your online accounts. You can learn more about these in our blog, https://intermaxnetworks.com/10-useful-internet-tips-and-tricks/
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication strengthens the security of your account by requiring an additional code to be entered in addition to your password when logging in. This code can be sent through a backup email, phone number, or both. It can also be a security question, typically something only you would be able to answer. When logging in, you must get the security question correct to gain access to the account.
Both of these can help prevent someone other than you from accessing your account. It is always a good idea to add an extra layer of protection to help guard against potential unauthorized access. With the use of a simple code, the risk of an intruder in your account will greatly decrease. Guessing or hacking a password will no longer grant access to an online trespasser.
Be cautious of emails from unknown senders
It is a basic rule of thumb that you should never talk to strangers. The same applies if you receive an email from an unknown sender, you should never open it. This is especially true if the email contains attachments or links, as these can contain malicious software, viruses, or other threats.
Also, never click on links or download attachments from emails that you were not expecting, or from people you do not know. Scammers often use these tactics to try and steal personal information or infect your device with malicious software.
Don’t reveal personal information in emails
Be careful what information you reveal in emails, as scammers can use it to impersonate you or steal your identity. Avoid sharing sensitive information such as your address, phone number, and date of birth online, along with any financial information. Scammers can use any of this information to steal your credit card information and even your identity.
This includes providing personal or financial information in links from emails. At the end of the day, email is not always a secure communication channel. No matter what security measures you take, you should always be cautious when having online conversations.
Use a spam filter
A spam filter can help protect you from unwanted correspondence and potential scams by blocking emails from known or suspicious sources. It also makes sure the messages we want to see don’t get lost in a sea of spam mail. Most email providers have a built-in spam filter, but you can also use a third-party spam filter for additional protection.
Along with that, it is also sensible to clean out the clutter from your inbox on a regular basis. We promise, your mailbox will not miss all the unopened spam messages. Plus, those messages are not secure, and you should avoid opening them.
Be wary of suspicious emails
Be on the lookout for emails that contain typos, strange formatting, or other anomalies. You should also avoid giving out any personal information, especially to a sender you don’t recognize. These can be signs of a phishing attack, in which scammers try to trick you into revealing personal information or logging into a fake website.
You should also pay attention to the small details, like the email address and domain name. Anything sent from a public domain should raise concerns, as credible organizations will not have email addresses ending in “@gmail.com” or something similar. The name of the organization being misspelled is another clue of a potential phishing attack.
Use a secure email provider
Look for an email provider that offers secure, encrypted email to protect your messages from being intercepted. This is especially important if you need to send sensitive information by electronic mail. Email encryption protects sensitive information such as credit card numbers, bank accounts, employee PII, and intellectual property.
If the email is not encrypted, a third party could use this information for ill intent, or just to keep your online conversations private. Using a secure email provider is an easy way to protect your email account from the start.
Back-up your emails
One of the easiest precautions you can take is regularly backing up your emails to protect them from being lost or deleted. Nothing is worse than losing important messages, reminders, or conversations. Your account can crash for a number of reasons, from user error to data corruption from a virus. Either way, a simple backup can make sure that you don’t lose your data. You can use a cloud-based backup service, an external hard drive, or another method to store copies of your emails.
By following these email protection tips, you can increase your overall email security, protect your personal and financial information, and reduce the risk of email scams and other threats. Take it from a telecommunication company, it’s always better to be safe and take the necessary steps to protect yourself, rather than falling victim to a scam.