Phishing, or phishing, is the number one threat to email security.

Phishing is a particularly common type of digital scam in email. This is a form of social engineering where a hacker tries to trick an employee into thinking the email is from a trusted source. Phishing emails usually include a call to action: it’s a form of marketing. Except that phishing calls to action usually involve clicking on a malicious link or revealing sensitive company data to outsiders.

And like all other marketers, hackers use creative techniques to improve the conversion rates of their scams. The more misleading the email, the higher the conversion rate. This is why phishing emails are sometimes difficult to spot. Here are some examples of phishing emails:

  • Account verification scam. You might receive a phishing email that looks like this: “Due to a recent security threat, we’re asking you to verify your account by logging in using the link below. If you don’t, your account will be permanently deleted.”
  • Fictitious invoice scam. Hackers can send emails that say something like: “We still haven’t received your payment for our services. Please use the link below to complete the transaction.”
  • Spear phishing. This is a more advanced and personalized form of phishing that requires hackers to research your business. For example, an employee will receive an email that appears to be from a specific coworker, asking them to visit a site or disclose information.

Here are the top email security recommendations

Falling into the trap of phishing can expose your business to serious data breaches and malware. These 5 email security tips will help protect your business against phishing and other forms of cybercrime:

1. Organize phishing awareness training

Emails are usually hacked due to employee negligence and lack of knowledge. The first way to strengthen email cybersecurity is therefore to make employees aware of the main threat: phishing. All employees should receive extensive training to recognize and avoid phishing attempts. The main points to cover here are:

  • Become familiar with the main phishing methods
  • Be wary of unusual requests
  • Never click on unknown links received by e-mail

Once employees are aware of these precautions, the likelihood of your company falling victim to phishing emails will already drop sharply.

2. Use two-factor authentication

This is a simple but extremely effective method of securing emails. By simply linking your smartphone and your email, you make your account much safer against hackers. So even if the passwords to your email accounts are leaked, no stranger will be able to access them without having access to the device they are associated with. All important business accounts, not just email accounts, should have two-factor authentication enabled.

3. Avoid checking email while on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi poses significant risks to email security. If it’s not encrypted (as it often is), anyone can connect to the same network. And you never know when a hacker will be that someone.

If a hacker intercepts your connection with unencrypted public Wi-Fi and catches you logging into your email, they can steal your email account password. It’s best to avoid networks altogether. Public Wi-Fi. However, if you need to connect to it, never transmit important data via it.

4. Encrypt company emails

Encrypting a company’s email using security software is a great way to ward off hackers. Encryption ensures that the only people who can view emails are the sender and recipient. If a hacker intercepts an employee’s Wi-Fi connection or email account, they won’t be able to see any sensitive data.

5. Use strong passwords for email accounts

Strong passwords are the backbone of account security. Yet companies often fail to secure their emails with strong passwords. If your company is in this case, you should know that the simpler the password, the easier it is to hack, especially by brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are when hackers attempt to guess a password by flooding your account with thousands of attempts.

To protect your work email against such attacks, make sure everyone in your company secures their passwords. Secure email passwords are:

  • Long
  • Complicated
  • Composed of different types of characters
  • Unique (never reused with other accounts)

These points are crucial if you want to ensure the security of your business. However, hard-to-hack passwords are also hard to remember. And the last thing you want is to make your account so secure that you can’t access it yourself.

Luckily, the NordPass business password manager is here to help. If everyone in your company uses it for their accounts, their emails will be secure and they won’t have to scratch their heads trying to remember their passwords.

Conclusion

Email account security is never guaranteed. And even though platforms like Gmail or Outlook do their best to keep their users safe, it’s easy to fall into the nets of hackers if you don’t actively protect your account. By following these 5 email security tips, the chances of your work emails being hacked will be much lower, as hackers will turn to more vulnerable prey instead.

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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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