Email Security Lessons Learned
In recent events the American public has been made aware of the importance of email and cyber security. We need to learn about how important this issue is. Over the last 6 months there has been an increase in attempted hacks on websites by automated bots coming out of the former Soviet Eastern block as well as Russia itself. Think Local Design does have security and monitoring software in place to help prevent certain hacks but nothing is fool proof pertaining to online security. Just remember the U.S. Federal Government and major corporations are constantly being hacked as well.
Over the last year there has been a huge increase in attacks. So what can you do to avoid being a target? Your emails can actually compromise your website security. When you download a suspect email on your personal computer, it can be infected with bots and malware.
Don't be an easy target. Follow these steps.
- Do not give your primary work email out to every website online. Only use it for business.
- Keep at least 3 email accounts. One for work, one for family and friends and one setup as a junk / spam catchall using a free service like yahoo or Gmail. Use your junk email account to give out online.
- If you are getting large amounts of SPAM in your account it is time to shut it down and create a new account. High SPAM volume carries an inherent risk of receiving emails loaded with Malware, viruses, and phishing links. Do you really want to be hacked because you are still using the same email from 1998?
- When writing emails if you do not want it read in public, do not transmit the email. There is always that risk that somebody might intercept and read it.
- Do not transmit sensitive information via email like credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account information.
- Don't fall for phishing scams! If a company you do online business with is asking for you to submit information to them...Do not click on the email link! Instead go to the company's website by manually entering their web address into your internet browser and log into your online account.
- Only call the customer service number that is published on the actual website. Do not call the number published in the email.
- Use both Anti-Virus and Malware software on your computer. Follow these resource links for free software downloads: https://www.malwarebytes.com/ and http://www.avg.com
- If you have a question about the validity and authenticity of an email it is probably a scam. Trust that little voice inside of you, its OK to be paranoid and wear a tinfoil hat. 😉