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Out of Messages – limit the risk of a cyber attack

Posted Wednesday January 30th, 2019, 1:03 pm by

How much do you reveal in your Out-of-Office message and what is the risk of a cyber attack from it?   Out of Office messages are often the easy back door for a cyber attack.

Of the 135 recent Out-of-Office Message, six percent were past their sell by date which suggest a lack of attention to detail on the recipients part.  Fifteen percent gave away information about clients and projects handled by the organisation, about twenty percent were insecure and left the person open to cyber crime.  Many burglars troll out of office messages.  It would not take a cyber criminal ten minutes to find out where you live and bing – burglary.  The remaining 49% of messages were fine.

What makes a good safe and secure Out-of-Office message? Indeed why bother to pay attention to what your message says?  A simple message is best which just states that you are not in the office and gives one point of contact in the event of an emergency.  Any more (eg you are on holiday, other projects you are handling etc) and you leave yourself and the organsiation open to a breach of security and confidentiality.

Every email from you conveys and creates an image about you in the recipient’s mind.  A careless, frivolous message can convey a sloppy, unprofessional image of you and a sloppy organisation.

Does your organisation provide adequate guidelines on the use of Out-of-Office messages?  If so what?

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