Tricks for Securing Your Email

by Justin on September 26, 2017

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As useful as email is for our everyday existence, from staying in touch with friends, communicating with colleagues, getting shopping promotions, or sending documents, it also poses a huge threat to our digital assets. Millions of viruses and scams are sent through email, making people lose their digital assets, their identity, or significant amounts of money.

However, with some attention, you can detect some of the problems and get rid of them before they become a greater issue.

Distress Emails:

One popular type of email that often pulls at people’s heartstrings, and therefore their wallets, is the “distress” email. It’s often sent from what appears to be our friend’s or family member’s email address with a message that goes something like this: “Hi _______, I’m in (enter exotic destination) and had to be urgently hospitalized. Now I need you to send me some money that will help me pay for the medical bills so that I can finally come home.” They are also versions in which the victim appears to be robbed, injured, or in other unfortunate circumstances. What is consistent, is that money is needed and an address or bank account number is provided. Half the time the alleged person isn’t even abroad. If you are not sure whether the message is legitimate or not, send the person who it seems to be from a message through a different medium asking if that email was really from them.

Emails from People You Don’t Know

This is a no-brainer to some, but to others it’s not that obvious. If there’s an email that is addressed from a person that you don’t know or from a company that you don’t remember subscribing to emails from, it’s safest to delete right away. Today it’s easy to get emails from public social media channels and other places, and people capitalize on this to send spam and viruses. This is also a reminder to not hand out your emails to strangers or enter it into sketchy looking services on the internet.

Misspelled Domain Names

Spammers and hackers are smart. Instead of breaking in and getting access to one of your contacts’ email and sending emails from it, they create a lookalike domain with the same email address before the “@” and send it from there. People don’t pay that much attention to the second half the email address as they are deciding whether or not to open the email. Phishers use this to their advantage to stage emails from people of power asking subordinates to do something for them, like send a high-security report or make a money transfer. By paying attention to the second half of the email address, you can manually filter emails that should be raising red flags.

Promiscuous Emails

Another one that seems obvious to those who have been working with computers for a while, but for those who haven’t been using their emails for long: do not open promiscuous emails. There is a great deal of spam and infected emails that are sent out with subjects like “hello big guy, are you looking for a good time?” or ones marketing stimulants. Do yourself a favor and delete these messages right away, but if you do open one accidentally, do NOT click on any of the links available.

Though manually sieving through your emails can be a decent guard for saving yourself from risky emails, you best bet is getting a service specializing in powerful advanced threat detection that enhances protection from network edge to endpoint. This is especially important for corporate emails, however personal ones also benefit from this kind of security.

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