Email has become a pervasive part of most people’s lives. For a lot of us, it’s our primary form of communication with everyone from colleagues to friends and family members. Email lets us stay connected quickly and easily, and we can always keep in touch since most of us check our email on our mobile devices throughout the day.

Unfortunately, the concept of email has become so mundane that most people don’t give a lot of consideration to the security risks it can create.

Are You Making Any of These Big Email Security Mistakes?

If you make certain mistakes like the ones below when you’re emailing, it can lead to serious problems ranging from business information being stolen to having your personal financial data hacked.

You’re Sending Sensitive Information without Security Protection

If you’re sending something to a client from your home office or emailing your financial information to someone, you are putting yourself at risk if you’re doing so without a secure email server. When emails aren’t sent through a secure server or without encryption, it’s very easy to intercept them.

You should never send an email with the assumption that anything is going to be private or secure unless you take steps to make sure it is.

Not Understanding What Phishing Attacks Look Like

Even people who consider themselves tech savvy can fall prey to phishing attacks. A phishing attack happens when someone receives emails or messages that dupe them into providing some kind of sensitive information, such as a password or banking information.

Some email phishing attacks may also include messages with malware that hacks into the computer of the person who opens the email.

Some of the signs of a phishing attack include grammar problems, the inclusion of a link, descriptions of possible threats such as an account being closed, and web addresses that look very similar to a legitimate company but have just small differences.

Opening Attachments

You should be very careful about opening attachments, even if they come from a source you trust. Various cyberattacks and viruses may come in the form of emails that look legitimate and include an attachment.

Before opening any attachment make sure it’s scanned by your security protections.

Having a Single Email Account

It may be a lot easier to manage just one email account where you handle everything personally and professionally, but it’s not very safe. Most IT security experts recommended having at least a few different email accounts, and ideally at least three.

The idea is that you can separate everything so that even if one account becomes compromised not everything is found there.

A good way to divide these accounts is to have one for work, one for personal, and one for all those coupons and special marketing messages you receive.

Finally, make sure that you keep your firewalls in place and that you always use updated anti-virus software. People make the mistake of thinking they couldn’t be the victim of a cyberattack or that no one would believe it was worth it to target their email account, but that’s not the case, so remaining updated and aware of current threats can help you protect yourself.

 

Image of hacker via Shutterstock