4 Easy Steps to Protect Your Email Accounts

4 Easy Steps to Protect Your Email Accounts

Have you ever heard the statistic that we spend one-third of our lives sleeping? We may appear to spend a comparable amount of our working life reading and sending emails. Even as technologies such as Slack and Teams gain traction, email accounts remain the primary means of communication in many organizations.

The more time we spend on a single digital platform, the bigger the security risk. While many of us are dimly aware of the dangers of opening email attachments or clicking on strange links, few fully comprehend the necessity of email security or consider a coordinated approach to implementing it. Here are five basic techniques for securing your email accounts and improving the cybersecurity of your organization.

1. Make use of Office 365 Tools

Microsoft Outlook is the email client of choice for many individuals. For more than 25 years, the popular program has been the backbone of organizations, and it continues to offer new features and services. Outlook, as part of the Office 365 package, now enables close interaction with Microsoft Teams and other products, as well as a number of communication and planning capabilities.

If you use Outlook as part of Office 365, you should consider enabling a number of security protections. While Exchange Online Protection provides basic spam and virus protection for all accounts, Microsoft Defender will give additional protection at various levels based on your Office subscription.

Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 is available to all Microsoft 365 Business Premium license holders, whereas Plan 2 is available to Office 365 E5, Office 365 A5, and Microsoft 365 E5 license subscribers. While Plan 1 contains real-time detection and security mechanisms for links, attachments, and phishing attempts, Plan 2 provides a more complex set of tools to assist in tracking and investigating attacks, as well as formulating more formal replies.

There are also additional security protections that are exclusive to Office 365. The Security Compliance Center lets you set up warnings for questionable activities and promptly notify administrators, and the Unified Audit Log lets you record and reverses key incidents. Office 365 also has robust encryption capabilities, such as the ability to restrict emails with a one-time password and ensure that they can only be viewed within the Office 365 environment.

2. Inform employees about best practices.

Spam filters are imperfect no matter what service you choose or how much you pay. New email addresses and ways are continuously being developed to overcome these filters, and the tighter your restrictions are, the more valid emails will surely be detected and routed to your junk mail. In summary, no matter what you try to prevent questionable emails from reaching your staff, some will always get through.

This implies that your workers' attentiveness and awareness are critical to keeping your emails secure. Fortunately, most recommended practices for email security are common sense and just a question of knowledge. Employees should be extra careful about accessing links and files if they are aware of their potential to cause damage to a system or network.

To guarantee that employees do not become suspicious of links and attachments, it is critical to teach them how to distinguish between valid and harmful messages. The most prevalent type of malicious email is a phishing attack, in which the sender pretends to be someone else or a legitimate representative of an organization.

For example, their name may be 'Apple Customer Support,' with a link saying that your account has been hijacked and directing you to log in and reset your password. Most email software has two simple techniques to identify this. One method is to look at the sender's actual email address rather than simply their name to determine whether it is from the company's legitimate domain (e.g.seotaghdoute@apple.com).

The second option is to hover your mouse over the hyperlink they are attempting to send you. If you click on it, the real link it will take you to should show, either in the bottom left of the window or as a tooltip next to your cursor. While it is best not to click on any link in an email that you are unsure about, doing so will reveal whether the link leads to a legitimate website (e.g. apple.com).

The following are common indicators of a malicious email:

. Mistakes in the email's title or body

The email address does not correspond to the firm.

Content that is not tailored to you or your organization

Requests that you click on a link or download an attachment

Attachments that are executable (.exe) or archived (.rar,.zip)

Unusual connections

Images of poor quality or that are wrong

A footer that is strange or improper

3. Safeguard Your Passwords

Passwords are critical for the protection of all data, including email accounts. If someone gains access to an email account, they may have free access to not just thousands of past emails, but also contacts to whom they may send emails and any services the email account can access. That might include plans, notes, and an address book with personal and contact information in the case of Office 365.

Password protection inside an organization entails establishing best practices. While there are several methods for securing passwords, one of the simplest is to use a password manager. Password managers enable you to generate unique passwords for each program and website you use, including email clients. This necessitates the usage of a single password for the password manager that is difficult enough to be nearly impregnable and is updated on a regular basis.

Of course, this necessitates a shift in strategy. The password for the password manager must be complicated enough that it cannot be 'brute forced,' or guessed, while simultaneously being exceedingly memorable. A lengthy, unique phrase including numerous digits and symbols is increasingly recommended for a strong password of any sort. For example, 3mailSecur1tyIsMyP@ssion is a phrase that is tough to guess yet unique enough to be remembered.

4. Make use of Secure Protocols

You must guarantee that your emails are secured if you are not utilizing Office 365 or another software platform that offers encryption by default. Encryption guarantees that emails cannot be read while in transit to their destination, a process that involves several points of interaction. Consider it like an open envelope: it's safe when you or the receiver hold it, but not when it's in the postal system.

The majority of popular online email clients employ end-to-end encryption by default. Gmail, for example, employs a TLS layer known as STARTTLS to disguise plain text connections, guaranteeing that data is not readable as it travels between destinations. TLS encryption, on the other hand, demands that both the sender and the recipient employ it. If you send an email to someone who uses their own mail server (for example, a work email) that does not use encryption, neither party's communication will be secure.

Email encryption software solutions such as Cisco, Egress, and Trustifi are available. While some serve as email clients (through downloading software or web applications), others integrate directly with major email clients like Outlook and Gmail. Different solutions provide varying levels of email customization and control, with some even allowing email recipients to respond using the same encryption without having to join up.

In conclusion

Proactive adjustments to corporate policy, as well as an active effort to involve personnel in appropriate security practices, are required for excellent email security. You can go a long way toward keeping your email accounts waterproof and avoiding a big outlet for online criminals by altering your behaviour and enhancing the technologies you use to safeguard email messages and accounts.

Taghdoute Live

Hey, I’m Rachid. I’m a writer. I am a fan of technology, sports, and education. I’m also interested in entrepreneurship and design.

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