Tech Blog Series: Email Security

In today's market, email is commonly designated as the most convenient and preferred method of communication between businesses and people alike. Therefore, it is important to keep your email accounts and information secure. Increasingly, hackers have been breaching email security to access an individual?s personal information. In this post, we will show you how to manage your accounts to enhance security, and how to avoid scams in order to protect your information.

Usernames and Passwords

When it comes to usernames and passwords, there is one important word to remember: separate. With personal email accounts, it might make sense to connect, and forward all of your emails to one primary account. Even if you connect your personal accounts, it is important to separate personal emails from work emails. For one, you must take advantage of the enhanced security that your business account likely provides. Business email accounts are typically equipped with encryption and other security features that make them much harder for hackers to penetrate. Second, connecting your emails to one account is not guaranteed to make your life easier. If someone breaks into that account, there is a good chance that they would break into everything else.

So, you might ask, what is the perfect way to organize email accounts? The goal here is security. Therefore, we suggest that you keep work emails completely separate and in their own account, taking advantages of your firm's online security measures. Use your work email for work purposes only. For communicating with friends and family, use a personal account. We also suggest having a separate account for use on websites that require a membership (in case you need to look up login information quickly).

It is also important to have a separate password for each of these accounts. Don't make it easy for someone to access your other accounts by making similar passwords for them. Check out our blog post on Good Password Practices for more tips on password creation.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

Have you ever received an email claiming that a popular site has either lost your password, detected a problem with your account, or offers a free account upgrade? They typically claim to be sent from the company, and may look professional. These emails, however, are likely “Phishing scams”, designed to steal your money and personal information.

Phishing scams typically impersonate some of the most popular sites on the Internet, such as Facebook, eBay, and Twitter. These sites typically tell you something along the lines of 'We will never give away your personal information or request your password' as part of their Terms & Conditions. Therefore, when you get an email requesting a password or personal information, it is a red flag. If you do give them your username and password, hackers will typically steal your identity, on top of hacking that particular account. This activity is called 'phishing'.

In order to avoid phishing scams, there are a few things to note when opening up an email. First of all, look for spelling errors, poor formatting, and threats such as 'your account will be disabled if' in every email you open. These are signs of an email scam. Second, you must try to avoid clicking links in emails. Whenever you see a link in an email, a good idea is to roll your mouse over the link without clicking on it. If the address that pops up matches the link's address, it is most likely safe. But, if it looks suspicious or doesn’t match, you can assume it is a scam.

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