Quick and Easy Email Security Tips for Dummies

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More than 91% of the successful cyber attacks start from an email. Email is the source of (nearly) all cyber problems! Most of the time these emails provoke you to click on a link. They can get very sophisticated and hard to spot. Here are a few basic security measures to keep your digital life secure.

1. Check the sender email address When you receive an email that’s asking you to click on a link check the sender email. Is it genuine? The infamous email in this category is emails pretending to be coming from LinkedIn, Facebook, Paypal, Amazon, Ebay, DHL, UPS, etc… The latest in this sort of phishing is Xero/Sage/Quickbooks subscription notifications.

2. Check the URL address If you did click on the link and it’s prompting to enter your credentials check for the website URL. Is it genuine? Look carefully for the spelling. ‘E’ might have been replaced by 3. ‘O’ [letter o] might have been replaced by 0 [zero]. There may be two ‘n’s' in Amazon.

3. Check the link in the email When you hover over the link in the email it will highlight the original link it’s pointing to. Is this what you are expecting? Or is this what the email actually says? Do you sense the urgency in the email? Are you expecting the email in the first place?

4. Grammar errors The easy giveaway for the phishing emails is Grammatical errors in the email or a generic greeting. Something like ‘Dear customer’, ‘Hi there’, ‘hello dear’, etc… Watch out for the grammar errors.

5. Double check Your CEO sent an email asking you to transfer some funds to clear an urgent transaction. Are you sure it’s him/her? Does he usually email you for this stuff? Pick up the phone and double check if it’s really him/her. FBI estimates this particular fraud alone costing the businesses Billions of dollars every year. We are talking in excess of $8bn per year. That’s huge! Your supplier sent you an invoice asking you to transfer the funds into the new bank they moved to. Pick up the phone and double check. Their emails may have been compromised and it’s the bad guys that are sending the emails. It’s better to double check than losing thousands of pounds. We have seen businesses lost upwards of £250,000 in the local area.

6. Common sense Finally, some common sense. Are you really expecting the email? The attachment? The link? Does your CEO really use an iPhone? Is her signature abnormal?

The bottom line is that any email with a link that is not proven legitimate is not legitimate. Period!

We hope these simple email security measures will keep you safe in 2019 and beyond. If you need further help or help to educate your employees get in touch with us HERE.


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