Five-lesser known email safety tips

Nothing beats a comprehensive security program. But whether your organization has one in place or not, these tips will help you avoid the daily threats posed by email fraud and cyber-security threats. 

About one in 20 of the emails you get contains some sort of malicious intent such as spearphishing. About 30 per cent of you will eventually open one.  

These days, most people know a little about this. So here are a few lesser-known things you can do to protect your organization from email attacks.  

  1. Disable the reading pane within MS OutlookEmails can and most often do contain hidden HTML code. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, unscrupulous unseen forces can use the reading information to obtain system information about you.   
  1. Never forward spam, or suspicious emails, asking “does this look fake to you?” The reasoning behind this has a lot to do with Tip #1.  
     
  2. Step up your intuition: If you get an email from a co-worker, business institution or anyone you know, and it just plain “doesn’t feel right,’” call them directly to confirm it really came from them, Ask about the details. In the meantime, do not click any links it may contain. 
     
  3.  Update your email client often. What’s a client? Oversimplifying it a bit, it’s basically the app you use, available in different brands such as MS Outlook or Apple Mail. Some clients, such as Gmail, make dozens of near-invisible changes every year. When they do, your now-outdated client, otherwise working just fine, can expose you to new vulnerabilities.   

    Visit this link to learn how you update Outlook: Change or update email account settings in Outlook for Windows – Outlook (microsoft.com) 

    On an Android device: Open the play store. Go to the menu in the top left corner. Select My apps & games. Let the update scan finish. In the top bar, click updates Then, click on update all

    Got an iPhone? You can set it so updates are manual or automatic. Go here to learn how: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202180
  1. Limit the number of add-ins and extensions you connect to Outlook. This applies to both mobile and desktop. If you don’t really need it, don’t add it. Sometimes they can be compromised, and the more you have, the greater the threat. In rare cases, you could even be adding something specially created to exploit you. Here’s a small horror story to illustrate: Phishing Campaign Uses Malicious Office 365 App (phishlabs.com) 


Questions about email and cyber-security for your organization? Contact us.

Article by: R. Overwater 

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