Email Security: Are you protecting yourself?
24th February 2017
We are seeing more and more companies being targeted and breached. The average cost of a breach is roughly $221 per stolen record, according to research released earlier this year by the Ponemon Institute.
In 2016, Yahoo announced that 500 million account details had been breached in 2014. Similarly we saw eBay attacked in 2014 with hackers gaining access to an eBay database of 145 million user accounts, which included names, addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords. The media report on these multi-billion companies being targeted, however 81% of all data breaches happen to SMBs with 60% of these going out of business within 6 months of an attack.
With over 112 billion business emails sent each and every day, email remains the most widely used communication platform. By following the below best practices, you are helping to reduce your risk of suffering a breach.
- Pick a strong password (and change it regularly). Things to remember when picking a strong password:
- Use different passwords for each of your different accounts
- Make your passwords at least 12 characters long
- Use upper and lower-case characters in them
- And sprinkle in some punctuation
- Don’t use family or pet names, birthdays or any personal information
Perfect example: N0H4ck3rs!4llow3d,
- Do not open unsolicited attachments, even from people you know. An email might look like it came from your boss, but it doesn’t mean that it did. Many viruses can “spoof” the return address, making it look like the message came from someone else. All it takes is one click and you could download harmful spyware.
- Do not click on suspect links. Make sure links go to where you think they do. Be aware of any discrepancies in links that look mostly, but not entirely, familiar, such as www.g00gle.com instead of www.google.com
- Avoid sending unnecessary personal information. Phishing is a spam by which the attackers try to learn personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Do not send any personal information over email, even if you know the recipient. You never know who may gain access to your email account.
- Avoid using unsecured Wi-fi. Free Wi-fi hotspots requires no authentication to establish a network connection. This creates an amazing opportunity for a hacker to get access to unsecured devices on the same network, and view any traffic you send or receive. Check out our top tips on staying safe when using public Wi-fi.