How Secure is Your Email?
Email is one of those things that we all take for granted, some businesses still use a free service for their email, but what do you really get for free?
We have all seen major free email providers getting hacked, but how many breaches of your email do you not hear about?
Email breaches are widely kept secret
Let's face it reporting such breaches is not in their interests, what would you do if you knew that your emails had been hacked or looked at by others. Now, you may be thinking ‘well I do not share much on email so it is not really a problem’ and if talking with a penpal is all you do, it may not be an issue. But be honest we all share things on the email that we would rather not share with others, let alone share with people who have bad intentions towards us. The obvious things are passwords, bank details, usernames, personal information, photographs, client information and files.
With all this in mind, how secure is your business email?
So if your email account is breached who would be responsible?
If you follow the Jason Bourne movies it will be the CIA or some spotty teenager who lives on M&Ms in a dark remote warehouse. Sadly, the reality is not too far from this, the odds are it will be an organised crime or it will be a state-sponsored attack. Just like in the movies they will be using software to scan for weaknesses in your email accounts such as back doors, old software, bad passwords, weak user names and insecure email hosting. Once they have access to your data it will be scanned instantly, then sold or used for their own purposes. Make no mistake about it, email servers are under constant attack by hackers who are trying to find a weak point and if your provider is not up to a high standard they will get in.
If you do get hacked and lose your important data will you be able to take action against your email provider? At the moment the simple answer is no! As the law stands if you entrust data to a provider it is you that is responsible for its safety and it is up to you to ensure you have enough security in place. It is one of the last areas of law where “the buyer should be aware” (note I said aware not beware).
So before you go back to using pen and paper is there an answer to all these email pitfalls?
The answer is relatively simple and inexpensive, do not use a free service
Free services are great but if they are not charging you for the service they will make very little if anything at all, so will not be investing in your security. This equally applies to email providers who provide a free email when you host your website with them, they will just not invest enough to protect your email. However larger professional email providers like Google have the money, resources and commitment to providing a secure service because it’s their business, not a free sideline.
Tickety Boo has been using Google for our office email for six years without any issues or problems and we only provide email for our clients through Google or Microsoft 365. Of course, there are other good service providers, but with these two companies, you will also get a full range of online services included in the price. These include but not limited to: online storage, conference calling, word processors, spreadsheets, file sharing, shared calendars and so on. Plus your email is going to be as safe as it can be.
Here is a final thought, most of us are willing to pay £30 a month for a smartphone, yet we are not willing to pay from £3 a month for secure email. It really does not make sense. If you are a professional business you should have your own domain, now make sure you have a professional level of email.
If you would like more information on SuperFast hosting or secure email please contact us for more information.
Some Useful Links
Our own Tickety Boo email is coming soon!
Some Basic Tips
Pay for a reputable service
Don’t ask your friend to do it, unless his name is Bill Gates
If your user name is not your email address, create a long user name
Ensure your password is strong - use upper and lower case letters plus symbols such as $ £
Use more than one email address and/or account (home and work)
Logout and close the browser after use
When using public, work and home computers (if not secure) delete your history, cache and passwords from the browser
Do not share your password/user details
Ensure your email password is unique to your email and is the not the same for your computer login
Backup your emails
Do not click on links or mail if you have any doubt who or where they are from
If the email is from the name of a friend, check the address bar to see if it really was from them
If you delete an email do not think it has gone, it is not always the case, so think about what you include in an email
If you get spam hit the spam button and do not just delete
NEVER share passwords on email - if you have to share a password call them on the phone
If a shop or business that you use emails you, check the domain is correct on the email