Email is a main source of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Setting proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is important in preventing the risk of security compromises, monetary loss and legality issues.
Anyone using email for business or personally has almost certainly received plenty of spam. Often these emails are blatantly unwanted while others can look as if a real person is trying to contact you. Spammers can often get your email when you put it online or submit it through a website. Spam protection is continuing to get better, and more advanced spam protection is cost effective for businesses that need the extra layer of protection. When not kept under control, spam can cause a lot of problems for businesses networks- spam can bog down email servers and eat up network bandwidth and it drastically slows down employee productivity because they need to sift through it all just to find their real email.
Keep your Computer Safe
Keep your antivirus software up to date and regularly run scans. It is important to run adware and spyware removal software at regular intervals. Be sure your Windows Updates are up to date as well. Businesses should invest in network protection to keep external threats from leaking in.
Don't Open Attachments from Unsolicited Emails
This has been one of the most known rules for a long time, yet people still do not always follow. When you receive an email from a stranger and there is an attachment, do not touch it. If you receive an email from a contact and there is an attachment, but anything is suspicious, you still should not try to open it. It is the same rule for links in an email - if the email was unexpected and does not seem right, it is possible your contact's email may have been compromised. Use your judgment on this, but remember it isn't your contact trying to trick you, they are merely the victim of a similar trick from one of their contacts. If you have any doubt, pick up the phone and ask them about it before continuing.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
If you need to send sensitive data to other recipients, you should encrypt these emails. Some industries actually require this. Email encryption simply scrambles the message while it is being sent, and depending on what type of encryption, will descramble itself or allow your recipient to log in to a secure location to view the data. Although email encryption services vary, most of them are very cost effected especially when put beside the risks of sensitive data getting leaked and stolen.
Don't Rely on Email for Storage
This is done very often; you are working on a report or document on one computer and you email it to yourself in order to pull it up on another computer. If you do this you need to monitor your inbox capacity, but you shouldn't rely on email for storing files, not even as a reliable backup. Imagine having to painstakingly pick through all of your email to restore your most important files. On top of that, email isn't any less prone to data corruption or loss than any typical storage solution.