Showing items tagged with "password protection" - 5 found.

Email security – top tips to reduce the risk of cyber crime

Posted Sunday April 1st, 2018, 7:50 pm by

Email security remains a top priority for most IT Departments and especially as GDPR approaches. Here are five top ways to improving email security in your organisation and make sure you are not the one to open the door to the cyber-criminal.

  1. Check and re-check the email. With auto-fill it is all too easy to send your email to the wrong Jack Thief. At one organisation the Corporate Lawyer was frequently asked about the Pantone colour to use for an advert. Whilst the Marketing Director was sent delicate often highly confidential information about pending legal transaction. Why? They both had almost identical names and hence email addresses. Checking the address before hitting improves email security.
  2. When forwarding an email check the content of the whole email. It is unbelievable the number of clients who tell me they have been forwarded an email only to find something about themselves buried in it – often about 10 conversation down! It is not unknown for this to result in legal action. Always scroll to the very end of the email you are about to forward to check there is nothing the new recipient might either be offended by or see confidential information to which they should not be privy eg sales data when the recipient is another supplier. This improves email security.
  3. Avoiding sending raw Office documents. When possible always send Office files as PDFs. Although not fool proof it does help limit the scope for making changes then denying the change. Also it helps improve the integrity of the file and reduce the risk of exposing edits and comments which have not been completely removed and may also contain confidential information. Email security and integrity is increased.
  4. Password protect/encrypt highly confidential files. The choice is usually dictated by IT. The key for us as individuals is to make optimum use of the available security technology when sending highly confidential files and not be lazy. Always a good way to improve email security.
  5. Be ruthless about what attachments you open. We have said it many times before but recent surveys show that cyber-attacks through malware hidden in Word files are up by 33%.

Concerned about any of these points?  Call us now to discuss how Mesmo Consultancy’s Smart Email Management masterclasses and workshops can help improve email security.

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Articles of Note – October 2015

Posted Monday October 26th, 2015, 10:31 pm by

Even prior to the TalkTalk hack, password protection and the on going stream of email spoofs were a significant focus of the last few months.  The latter are always phishing to relieve you very cheaply and easily of your hard earned money.Typewritter

  1. TalkTalk’s was hacked by a 15 year old.  The number of customers’ financial information stolen might be less than expected.  But it reveals just how vulnerable such websites are to the determined hacker.
  2. The worst fifteen hacks – it’s to early to know the full extent of the TalkTalk hack and whether or not it ranks in the top twenty worst cyber crimes. Here is the list thus far.
  3. Password protection.  There are a number of good password protection applications.  Here is a useful summary of the best of the bunch.
  4. Spotting spam emails still seems to defy some.  This is a very good reminder of the key signs that the email you think is genuine is not.
  5. Out of office messages are a two fold hazard.  They act as a cheap backdoor to cyber criminals and an excuse to take a peek at emails whilst technically on leave.

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Protect your on-line reputation to avoid an email disaster

Posted Tuesday September 15th, 2015, 9:52 am by

How well do you protect your on-line reputation to avoid an email disaster? The hacking of Ashley Madison website (the dating agency) provided some statutory lessons about how one’s reputation can be destroyed in a nano second. In a nutshell, this well known dating agency’s data was hacked. Details of about 33 million accounts were released including peoples sexual preferences and fantasies linked to their email address. They also cracked passwords and credit card information.

What made people and business’s more twitchy than usual was that names were associated with companies, because many were silly enough to use their business email address. Technology companies listed included Apple, HP, IBM Sony, Snapchat and Vodafone. Many others were Government officials and household business names.

As a result we have seen some people resigning from their jobs and at least one suicide.

This highly visible hack provides several very pertinent lessons both for us as individual users and corporately for the business. None are new. Perhaps the surprising fact is that so many people continued to forget to bolt the door securely on their on-line identity until it is too late.

Lesson 1 – never use your business email address for anything other than business unless it is an emergency. Use a personal email address for all social emails.

Lesson 2 – be very vigilant about what information you post on websites because In reality nothing is private on the internet. Several people paid to have their profile removed but it still turned up.

Lesson 3 – before hitting send and posting information think about the consequences to yourself should someone else find it, for example either through hacking or worse still close friend or partner.

Lesson 4 – set strong passwords. One survey revealed that over 120 people use simple ones like 123456. Click here for more about password management.

Lesson 5 – spend time developing a crisis management plan whether for your business or self in the event of such a disaster.

This won’t be the last high profile hack but hopefully some will take these five lesson seriously and especially use their business email address more cautiously to manage their own and their company image more carefully.

Call Mesmo Consultancy now to discuss how we have helped our clients to improve the management of their on-line reputation to avoid an email disaster like this and the Sony email disaster.

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Email security and internet security – password protection

Posted Friday November 8th, 2013, 5:46 pm by

The recent hacking of the Adobe website is a salient reminder of the need to remain vigilant about protecting ones personal information on-line. One of the most stark factors to emerge was the number of very weak passwords used by people. Email security and internet security depends in part of having strong passwords and being vigilant about what you post on social media sites.  A recent report revealed that the most common passwords were ‘123456’ (190,000+ users) and ‘123456789’ (46,000+ users).

Creating a strong password is really quite easy. Think of a meaningful sentence and then take the first letter of each word and use it to construct a password. Turn a couple of letters into capitals/symbols and add in a couple of numbers and you have a strong password.  For example:

In my youth my favourite singer was Leonard Cohen. A password might be 1mYMf3Wlc!

Email security

Email security

Three other top tips to follow to improve your email security are:

1.  Password protect important attachments.

2.  Do not put confidential information in the body of an email, rather either convey the information verbally or in a password protected attachment. Click here for an example of what can otherwise go wrong.

3.  Remember that despite your best efforts email evidence is very rarely destroyed. Someone somewhere will always have a copy.

For those managing a business (no matter what size) a key part of your email and internet security must be your Acceptable (computer) Usage Policy (AUP).  It must be up-to-date to take account of changing technologies, and you must have evidence that everyone has read and accepted its conditions.

Click here to access our free on-line tool to benchmark just how robust is your current AUP.  Mesmo Consultancy have helped many clients improve their email security and reduce the risk of leaking sensitive and confidential information.  Call us now for a free consultation and review about how vulnerable your business is currently (+44 (0)1202 434340) .

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Email security top tips to protect yourself from cyber crime

Posted Wednesday April 4th, 2012, 8:25 am by

How good is your email security? Cyber crime is now a tier one priority for government and business.  Sloppy use of email is one of the most common ways to leak important information and open the door for the cyber criminal.

Improving your email security is one of the first steps to managing the risk of a cyber attack.

Here is a summary of the top tips Dr Monica Seeley (Mesmo Consultancy) discussed on the Geoff Carter Show on HotRadio 102.8FM on Wednesday 04 Aprilaccess-data-694539_640

  1. Create strong passwords for access to your email account – ideally eight or more characters which include, numbers, alphabetic letters, special symbols (such as ? and £) and capitals.  The easiest way to create a password which is memorable to you is from a sentence.  For example: In 2012 my favourite city is Paris.  This would become I2012MfcIP.  Check the strength of your password using the Microsoft Security site.
  2. Set a safe Out of Office message.
  3. Avoid putting confidential information in emails – they are as transparent as a postcard.
  4. Don’t open unusual emails.
  5. Keep your virus software up-to-date.
  6. When emailing files, clean them up and send them in  PDF format.
  7. Password protect them if they contain highly confidential information.
  8. Check you are sending the email to the right John Smith.
  9. Benchmark your Acceptable Computer Usage Policy and check that you and everyone in the company adheres to it.  If in doubt about how robust your policy is, ask us at Mesmo Consultancy to do a free review.
  10. Minimise the amount of personal information you put on social networking sites and especially names of friends, pets and close family (as these often form the basis of security questions).

For more email security tips like these subscribe to Mesmo Consultancy’s monthly ‘E-briefing.’ For your free review of your company’s Computer Acceptable Usage policy please contact us by phone on 01202 43 43 40 or email.

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