According to Radicati Group, there will be 2.5 billion e-mail users by 2014. With all of this e-mail activity, you need to be diligent not to fall victim to the various attacks that can plague e-mail users.

  1. Consider using a strong password to protect your accounts. These are typically eight characters or more consisting of mixed case letters, numbers and special characters. Also, if using your wireless network, make sure you encrypt it (e.g. WPA2).
  2. Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software running on your computer, and use it to scan your e-mails and attachments. Don’t rely on your two-year-old anti-virus software without updating it regularly.
  3. Create multiple e-mail accounts; three accounts are ideal:
    1. Work account – only use this for your business-related communications.
    2. Social account – use this for your e-mails to/from friends and family.
    3. Junk account – use this one when you sign-up for things that require an e-mail address. Consider changing this account every six months or so to avoid spam build-up.
  4. Close the browser when you are finished checking your e-mail on a public computer. Furthermore, use “Private Browsing” mode or clear the browser’s cache, history and passwords when you are done.
  5. Consider e-mails as permanent documents. Just because you and all other recipients delete the e-mail doesn’t mean that it’s gone. You have no control over what happens to the e-mail once you click ‘Send.’
  6. Never send any personal or confidential information via e-mail. This includes, but is not limited to, social security number, bank account, credit card numbers, or driver’s license number. If you need to communicate this type of information, consider using the telephone.
  7. Only send e-mails to those who need to see it. Use the ‘BCC’ option instead of the ‘To’ or ‘CC’ options when sending e-mails out to numerous recipients. Likewise, don’t “Reply All” when a simple “Reply” will do.
  8. Don’t open suspicious e-mails – even from your friends. If you aren’t sure where the e-mail came from or if the subject seems a little peculiar, don’t open it.
  9. Watch out for phishing e-mails. Refer back to item #6 here. Legitimate companies will not ask you to verify confidential information via e-mail. When in doubt, contact the company from a number listed on their actual website – don’t trust links or numbers within the e-mail.
  10. Don’t delete spam. Use the e-mail application’s “blacklist” feature instead. This will reduce the amount of spam you have to wade through.

This is not a complete set of preventative measures. However, following these techniques will go a long way in keeping your e-mail experience a safe and secure one. Post a reply to let us know what safety measures you use when it comes to e-mail. Thanks!

One response to “Ten Tips for E-mail Security”

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