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Out of Message and the risk of a cyber attack

Wednesday January 30th, 2019, 1:03 pm

How much do you reveal in your Out-of-Office message and what is the risk from it of a cyber attack and breaching GDPR.  Out of Office messages are the easy back door for a cyber attack. Many burglars troll out of office messages.  It would not take a cyber criminal ten minutes to find out where you live and bingo – burglary.  Moreover too much detail and you risk breaching the GDPR.

Of the 135 recent Out-of-Office Message only half were safe and secure and limited the risk of an email generated cyber attack.

  • 20% were insecure and left the person open to cyber crime;
  • 15% gave away information about clients and projects handled by the organisation;
  • 6% were past their sell by date which suggest a lack of attention to detail.

The remaining 49% of messages were secure and limited the scope for either an email borne cyber attack or breach of confidentiality and hence GDPR.

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. ‘Simply’ 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 organisation 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?

For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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