Keeping Your Employee Email Safe

employee email safety_Now IT Connects

Email is one of the most powerful tools you have to stay connected to your team and customers. But because it is so essential to doing business, email is a very popular target for hackers and other bad actors. Here are a few email security tips from the Now IT Connects experts. Which ones will you implement today?

Email Security Tip 1: Encourage Strong Email Passwords

A strong password is an email account’s first line of defense. Encourage employees to set strong passwords and require them to change them every so often. Strong passwords use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. They do not include personal information that could be looked up on social media.

To create very strong passwords, ask your employees to think of a memorable phrase (for example, “I Love Now IT Connects”). Then, shorten it to the first letter in each word (ILNIC). Next, add numbers in between each letter (I1L2N3I4C). Put an exclamation point at the end (I1L2N3I4C!), and you have a password that will be very difficult for hackers to guess.

Email Security Tip 2: Require a Secure Internet Connection

A strong password won’t protect an email account that is accessed on public WiFi or other unsecure internet connection. Unsecure networks are easily accessible by bad actors, leaving you and your employees exposed to all sorts of cybercrimes, including identity theft, malware, and ransomware attacks.

Work with your managed IT and network security team to secure your network with a combination of hardware, software, and employee education. Once you have the appropriate hardware and software in place, train your team on why it’s important to only access their email and work applications over a secure network. If they are working remotely at home or at a coffee shop, require them to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, that will make it nearly impossible for bad actors to find and gain access to your network.

Email Security Tip 3: Teach Email Smarts

Attacks on email are constantly evolving, which is why it’s important to provide regular employee training on new email threats and how to spot and prevent them. Phishing scams, for example, are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Phishing emails may look completely legitimate to an untrained eye or an employee in a rush. But clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or taking another action from a phishing email can create an IT disaster for your company. Train your employees on the types of cyber threats they may encounter. You can even hire Now IT Connects to test your employees with a fake phishing email.

Protecting your employees’ email keeps your entire network and company safe. Protect your data with robust email security. Contact Now IT Connects for expert email support.


Cloud-Based Spam Filtering with Now IT Connects

cloud-based spam protection_Now IT Connects

Malware and ransomware attacks are big business for bad actors. Dozens of high-profile ransomware attacks have already occurred this year. It’s more important than ever to understand this cyber threat and protect your network with cloud-based spam filtering.

Understanding Email Spam Threats

The most common and troublesome email spam threat in 2020 has been ransomware, a subset of malware. Malware is a program a bad actor puts on a computer, often by tricking an email recipient into downloading an attachment or installing fake antivirus software. Once downloaded, malware can wreak havoc on a computer or entire network.

The most devastating malware attack in recent years has been the ransomware attack. In these types of attacks, malware encrypts all the data on a network, holding it ransom until the network owner pays the hackers. Ransomware attacks are a big deal. Experts predict a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. Collectively, ransomware attacks are estimated to cost $20 billion by 2021.

Step 1: Encrypt Your Email Data

Protecting your business from ransomware and other cyber attacks starts with a robust, cloud-based spam filtering tool. There are many choices on the market, and Now IT Connects can help you choose the right application for your business. The best cloud-based spam filtering tools encrypt your email data to protect it from the prying eyes of hackers and other bad actors. This makes it harder for cyber criminals to target your network and get their emails through to your employees’ inboxes.

Step 2: Detect and Neutralize Email Attacks

While encrypting your email data can prevent many malware attacks, hackers are constantly evolving their tactics, and some spam will make it through. Your cloud-based spam filter should quickly detect and neutralize these threats so your employees are never tricked into downloading malware onto your network.

Step 3: Continually Update Cloud-Based Spam Filtering

The best cloud-based spam filtering tools are continually learning and updating their protocols to constantly protect your email. This is where cloud-based spam filters outperform anti-malware software you may purchase and download. Since they are based in the cloud, they can be continually updated in real time with no action required on your part. If your spam filter is not cloud-based, you’ll have to remember to update it yourself.

Protecting your email and your employees from malware and ransomware attacks is an essential part of your cyber security plan. Now IT Connects can help you find the cloud-based spam filter that’s right for you and your team. Contact us today.


Email Best Practices for New Employees

email best practices_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Whether you like it or not, your company’s email is a critical part of your business. Email is one of the primary ways you interact with your customers and keep projects rolling. You can’t afford to have your email down for a few hours, let alone a day or a week.

Since your email client is constantly transferring data (ie: messages and attachments) between your system and the sender’s, it is an especially vulnerable part of your network. That’s why email scams are so popular among hackers. If your email isn’t protected by a secure connection and strong spam filter, it could provide a front door for bad actors to access your network.

Training your employees on safe email behavior is crucial to the security of your network. Here are a few steps Now IT Connects recommends our clients take to make email best practices part of their everyday operations.

Use Strong Email Filters and Protection

If your email is set up through us, you are already taking advantage of some of the best email protection available. We use Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) Cloud technology to secure emails, encrypt data,  and protect them from phishing and spam attacks. Contact us to discover all your email spam filter options.

Written Email Policy

To hold yourself and your team accountable for safe email practices, it helps to have an email policy in writing as part of your employee handbook. Effective policies outline what employees can and cannot send through their company email. They elaborate on what makes a secure password and how employees should handle their email passwords. Great email policies also include information on malware, phishing, and spam so employees know when to delete an email rather than open it.

Provide Ongoing Training for All Staff

Once you have an email policy in place, provide training to new and veteran employees to help them understand why you created the policy and how they can abide by it.

We’ve found many companies include discussion of new email threats and email trends with their staff at their weekly or monthly staff meetings. This helps everyone remember to stay vigilant while using their emails and keep the team informed of any suspicious emails they may have received over the last few weeks.

Protecting your company email is an essential element of your overall network security. Now IT Connects can help you keep your email secure and train your staff on safe email habits. To learn more, contact our team today.