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Email security over the vacation period

Posted Monday July 29th, 2013, 8:41 pm by

Email cyber crime attacks effect one in two UK citizens and on average £247 is stolen from bank accounts per successful attack.  Moreover, the Government’s Intelligence Services estimate that UK businesses are subjected to roughly 1,000 cyber attacks every hour.  Email is often the low hanging fruit for the cyber criminal, rather like leaving the car keys near the front door so that the criminal can fish them out.  How well do you and your business manage email security?  When was the last time you updated your email best practice policy and provided any email management training?

There are two types of email security breaches, those we cause by carelessly leaking confidential information and those where others attack us.  This blog deals with the former.  Common cause of leaking confidential information by email (and not just during vacation time) are through:

  • forwarding information to others who should not see it;

    Cyber crime

    Email security

  • sloppy Out of Office messages;
  • sending the email to the wrong recipient;
  • delegating access to another person but not properly briefing them on how to handle our inbox.

Here are five top tips to help you manage the risk of a breach of email security and hence open the back door to a cyber crime attack especially during the vacation period.

  1. Set a simple and safe Out of Office message – click here for for more help.
  2. When giving access to someone else leave adequate time to brief them on what to expect that needs handling and how to manage the rest.
  3. If you are expecting confidential information aks the sender to put ‘confidential’ in the subject and set up a rule to send it to a separate folder.
  4. Avoid sending work emails to a social/home email account.
  5. Always re-read emails you are forwarding on to check the whole chain for any information which the new recipient should not see.

If possible try to take an email free vacation.  We all need down time.  Dealing with sensitive emails over the holiday in a relaxed state of mind is often when breaches of security happen as we are at our most vulnerable.  If you feel you cannot swich off it might be because you are suffering from email addiction.  Click here to check if you are suffering email addiction.

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