Beginner’s Guide to Email Security

With malware, phishing and ransomware attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, businesses must bolster their security against rising threats to protect personal details and their financial integrity. As we know, email is a primary way for hackers to infiltrate your business network and compromise your data so it is vital for businesses, both small and large, to protect their email infrastructure.

Email security solutions come in many forms, from simple spam filters to virus protection, but a layered approach is the best method to protect your business. By combining the different solutions, you can protect your business from the simplest to the more sophisticated threats.

Spam Filter

Spam filters work by reviewing the subject line and content of an email to look for key spam indicators. They also block emails from known spam accounts or addresses with key elements, typical of a spam account.

You can also set up your own, user-defined rules for some spam filters to block specific senders, key words or phrases. Additionally, permission filters can be used, allowing the account holder to permit or block a specific email or sender.

Anti-Phishing

A phishing filter will scan messages and review all URLs before diverting any suspicious emails. By using an anti-phishing filter, you can protect yourself from scam emails purporting to come from reputable sources, that attempt to fool you into activities such as sharing sensitive information or completing a fraudulent financial payment. You should also consider protecting your business against more sophisticated attacks, such as spear-phishing or whaling, targeting specific individuals using similar methods.

Virus Protection

Email virus protection should be a priority for all businesses as attacks are becoming more sophisticated with attackers posing as legitimate companies to infiltrate networks. Antivirus software is designed to detect malicious code, hidden in emails, that can crash a system, distribute ransomware attacks or even provide remote access to a device. Once detected, the email will be blocked or diverted.

Best Practices

Password Strength

It may seem obvious, but your password is the first step to protecting your email, so it is essential that you use a strong that is not easy to guess. Passwords should be reset every three months and should not be repeated or used across multiple accounts. The general rule for passwords should be:

  • Easy to remember
  • A minimum of 8 characters long
  • Contains uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Contains at least 1 number
  • Contains special characters
Beware of links and attachments

You should never click a link or open/download an attachment from a source that you are not familiar with. This is the most common way an attacker can compromise your account.

Use a VPN

Public WiFi connections are not secure so you should always connect to a VPN when accessing your business emails.

Don’t send sensitive information via email

If you need to send passwords, financial information or personal details over email, you should always encrypt the data before clicking send.

To find out more about the security products on offer from Digital Wholesale Solutions, head to our Guardian Security page or speak to our teams today.

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