Email accounts are for many businesses their main method of contact.  Invoices and quotes are sent and received, meetings are arranged and general customer queries answered. If somebody manages to break into your email they can swiftly take over the identity of your business.  Their aim will be either to line their own pockets by altering invoices, stealing sensitive information, attempting to damage your reputation or a combination of all three.

 

This is why your email account is perhaps the most important online account you hold and is the one you should pay special attention to in terms of applying all available security measures at your disposal. 

 

According to a recent government report on Cyber Crime 39% of all UK businesses reported having cyber security breaches or attacks between March 2020 and March 2021.  The 2022 report is expected soon and is expected to show a slight increase.

 

Other insight shows that around 90% of global malware threats are received via email.

Phishing emails are the most popular method of email attacks.

Malicious attachments of word & excel documents or exe files play a key role in almost half of email attacks.

 

Take steps to protect your email.  It is vital that the password for your email account is unique and not being used for any of your other accounts due to the fact that if one of your other accounts that uses the same password as your email account gets hacked then there is a strong possibility your email will be targeted next.  

 

Each email provider like Gmail & Outlook provides different tools for adding extra security.  Both will allow you to add 2 Step Verification where you have to provide an additional proof that it is you who is logging into your account such as entering a code which you receive on your phone or secondary email.  

 

When staff leave, or good terms or bad, it is important that the email logins are changed or fully revoked as without doing this they will still have the capability to log in and read mail without you knowing or even to send messages without your consent.  In the case of a disgruntled employee it is important to change all passwords immediately or shortly before their departure.  This protects them as well as you as it will help to eliminate the possibility of suspicion falling on them in the event of a cyber attack.

 

If using a mail client such as Outlook or Thunderbird on your desktop then accessing your email is a simple process of just double clicking to open without the need to enter a password.  It’s important that you always lock your computer when away from your desk.  It not only protects you but your customers also.  It is also considered a Data Protection breach to leave your computer unattended and unlocked if it contains customer data.

 

Consider setting up Windows Hello Face Recognition.  Using Windows Hello Face recognition will require a webcam.  Instead of typing in your pin or password Windows will scan your face to make sure it is you the authorised user who is logging in.  This will stop anybody apart from you from having direct access to your account and thereby protecting your email.   

 

Alternatively Windows Hello Fingerprint Recognition will work in exactly the same manner but without the need for a webcam.  If your computer doesn’t have a fingerprint reader, one can be installed for as little as £25.

Implementing the above security measures will go a long way in helping to keep your email safe and secure.  For help with implementing these measures contact us on 028 25 880 582 or email [email protected]