Emails have long been an easy target for hackers and malware looking to infect your company's network. Fortunately, many email scams and malware downloads from attachments etc, can be avoided with a little training. Here are 8 email safety tips you need to remember while sending and receiving email:
1. Beware of Unknown Senders
All it takes is a single innocent looking file that an unknown person sends you via email. As soon as you download the file and click on it, your computer becomes infected with a virus that can cause all types of damage to your device. You should never open emails that have been sent by a sender whom you don't know or trust.
2. Use Spam Filter
You can get hundreds of unknown emails in a day, which is why it is so important to use a spam filter. The filter will flag emails that have been identified as spam so that they can be kept separated from the rest of your online mail. You have the option to eliminate junk emails as soon as the system detects them, or keep them separately to be examined later.
3. Get Anti-virus Software
Anti-virus software helps you guard against the more aggressive threats that the internet can throw at you. Installing and regularly updating a well-respected piece of anti-virus software will allow your computer to automatically detect hidden viruses and malware sent to your computer via emails. Be sure to scan any documents attached to an email with the software before opening the files.
4. Change Passwords Regularly
In this day and age, it is surprising how many internet users still employ extra-simple passwords even for their most personal information. Don't be one of those people. Keep your password as a random collection of letters and symbols, and be sure to change that password every few months. Also, avoid telling your password to other people.
5. Don't Hand Out Your Email to Every Site
The internet is filled with businesses that are desperate to sell their product to you, which is why most sites ask for your email address. Giving your email to sites with a dubious reputation leaves you open to the possibility of hackers sending you email which claims to be from the site you visited but which actually contains a virus.
6. Log Out
If you are using a computer that is accessible to many users, be sure to end every online session by logging out of your account. If a hacker gets his hands on your account, he can use it to wreak all kinds of damage on your computer, and also use your account to send malware to other users.
7. Keep Separate Accounts
Your account can be used for your work and also for recreation. But it can be a bad idea to keep your virtual social and professional information on the same account. If a virus from one of the sites you visit for fun invades your account, it can also cause damage to your professional account information. This is why it would be better to keep at least two separate email accounts, one for work and another for personal use.
8. Avoid Public Wi-fi
As far as possible, avoid carrying out sensitive online transactions through public wi-fi networks. Such networks are notoriously easy to break into, and you leave your online account in danger of getting invaded by hackers who may be lurking somewhere within the network, waiting for you to divulge important information.
Remember, your online security is in your own hands, and depends on the pro-active steps you take to secure your email account against external threats using these tips.