Emails are helpful for communicating. In a business setting, you use it to go back and forth with employees, colleagues, customers, potential clients, suppliers, and other key individuals. However, it’s not just a means to communicate within and outside the business structure but a valuable asset.
Due to its importance, it’s only natural to ask whether or not your business email is safe. Below, we’ll share five actionable tips on how you can protect it.
How To Keep Your Business Email Safe
Step #1 – Have a damn good password
Don’t settle for any password, especially one that’s easy to figure out. Examples of “easy passwords” are those which have your name or a family member’s, birthdates, or personal interests which everyone knows about. In general, you want a password that’s impossible for hackers to crack. It should be unique, complex, and have at least 8 characters.
We strongly recommend an alphanumeric password which combines letters and numbers. Business emails that allow the use of symbols and distinguish between upper and lower case characters allow for more variation and better security.
Step #2 – Install antivirus software on your computer
Antivirus programs remain relevant in this day and age. They are well-equipped against cyberattacks directed to computer systems. From a larger scope, they are capable of detecting, preventing, and removing select cyber threats. If you install one in your computer, it can perform a number of features including:
- Scan incoming emails and attachments
- Block spam and suspicious content (i.e. phishing)
- Send detailed reports on actual and potential threats
Antivirus software also removes malware from infected computers. Some common malware are viruses, spyware, adware, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, ransomware, keyloggers, and botnets. For this step to work, the antivirus has to be installed in all business computers.
Step #3 – Encrypt your business emails
Simply put, encryption is a process that protects emails by disguising them. What it does is prevent unauthorized recipients from reading the content of an encrypted email. There are various ways to encrypt a business email. But three of the most commonly used methods are:
- GPG (GNU Privacy Guard)
- PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
- S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
Step #4 – Create an email policy in the workplace
Everyone in your company will have business emails of their own. So it’s not only your email that needs protecting but also theirs. That’s why you should have a workplace policy that promotes best practices in email safety.
Employees should be regularly updated with actual threats faced by your company. They must also be informed of potential threats based on trends in cybersecurity.
Step #5 – Set up a firewall
One of the best ways to keep your business email safe is to set up a firewall. Unlike antivirus which is limited to a computer, a firewall can defend an entire network of computing hardware and software. The latest technology available is a Next Generation Firewall or NGFW. It combines the protective features of a traditional firewall with that of a network device filter.
As long as you follow these 5 steps, you’d be able to keep your business email safe. Consider hiring an IT support company who can assist you through the process.