As businesses and individuals rely on emails for communication, it is critical to protect the information contained in emails against threats. Email is one of the most popular mediums for phishing attempts or virus distribution, especially through email attachments.
Email security threats
- Attachments are the most frequently used hacking method, so don’t open attachments from unknown sources and attachments that have not been scanned for viruses.
- Spam emails are also known as junk emails. These emails are usually sent by online marketing companies and websites that steal, exchange or sell email addresses.
- Chain letters contain incorrect news and fake stories and may also contain malicious programs. It may ask you to forward it to your contacts. These are hoax emails.
- Phishing refers to the process of attempting to steal sensitive information such as passwords or bank account information by pretending to be from your bank or other service provider.
When you receive an email message:
- Always treat attachments on emails with caution, especially those ending with extensions such as .exe .bat or .com
- Make sure your antivirus software is updated. Scan all attachments before you open them.
- Don’t open any emails or attachments that you receive from an unknown sender.
- Don’t open, forward or reply to any spam or suspicious emails containing generic text like “Review the attached file”, “See file for details” or “For your review” as they most likely contain viruses.
- Don’t click any links that you are not familiar with. It could be a phishing email.
- Be aware of sure signs of scam emails:
- Not addressed to you by name
- Asking for your personal or financial information
- Asking for your password, or asking you to reset your password
- Asking you to forward the email to other people
When you send an email message:
- Don’t forward chain letters to others.
- Don’t send an email out of anger because it has legal consequences.
- Check “To:” before you hit send. It is so easy to put in the wrong address or hit “Reply to all” when you meant to hit “Reply”.
- Don’t send your personal information such as credit card details via email.
- The emails you send represent who you are.
- Always use proper language when sending emails to others.
- Never use your business email for personal purposes.
- Report phishing/suspicious emails to your IT department to take action.