The importance of email security

How well do you keep your emails safe?

Two incidents happened a day apart from each other related to email security so I was compelled to share as a reminder to keep your email accounts safe.

First: One morning I received a text message from Google with a verification code G-XXXXXX which freaked me out because those texts are usually sent when I’m accessing or attempting to make a change to my account. It was not me. And, because I have multiple Gmail accounts, and it did not identify which email address, I had to change all my Gmail passwords.

Second: The next day, I received an unusual email message from one of my LinkedIn friends that had a greeting “Hi there, Trust you had a great weekend. I have attached a document for our new proposal for your review. Access the proposal through the extension below” and then directed me to click on the link to review the proposal… #1 I didn’t ask for any such document and #2 I am not currently doing business with this connection. Fortunately, I had my friend’s cell number so I sent him a text that he should check his LinkedIn account and he shortly responded that YES, his account has been hacked.

DOs and DON’Ts

Don’t keep the same password across multiple accounts. See Disney+ hack as a prime example

Don’t store your passwords in an unencrypted, unsecured Excel or Word document on your desktop. If your desktop gets compromised, your password list is wide open for the picking!

Create complex passwords that can be a phrase mixed with letters, numbers and symbols [example: H0m3!$Wh3r3W!n3I$! for Home Is Where Wine Is]

Remember to change your passwords often. Set a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget. There are different thoughts on how frequently, but certainly more than 1x a year!

Setup two factor (or dual factor) authentication. This helps add an extra layer that sends a verification code to your phone via text or automated phone call.

Don’t blindly click on links sent via email. Ask yourself, was I expecting this? Is this information that I would normally receive from this person?

If you’re looking for a tool to save your passwords, LastPass is a great option to securely store your passwords. They have free and paid subscription levels. They also have an app for your mobile phone. {Because it is a great security tool and I believe in the value it offers to a small business, I am a LastPass affiliate so I receive a small commission when you click and purchase on the link above}

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