As many organisations rotate between working from home, or other alternative arrangements, it’s a great time to remind ourselves of good email safety practices.
Good email communication is the engine of the modern business. This rings especially true in tricky times. Working remotely in different environments and with different setups can mean a change in attitude and practices. It is vital we don’t let our concentration lapse where it comes to keeping our business’s and clients’ information safe, and protecting our hardware from web threats.
If you’re an employer, you’ve most likely already had a talk with your head of IT regarding how to shape your IT Acceptable Use Policy around what the world might throw at your business. Now might be the time to do so, if you haven’t! If you’re an employee, now is a great time to refresh your knowledge of company policies.
When using email correspondence, it’s always best to practice these fundamentals:
Were you expecting an email?
When working from outside of the office, this can be an easy one to let slide. Where you aren’t sure, check with the person via phone.
Attachments, attachments, attachments.
When it comes to downloading files or data from any source, you should always be meticulous to ensure you aren’t allowing anything malicious onto your device.
- Never download attachments from unrecognised senders.
- Always use your best judgement, and check where you aren’t sure.
- Always scan files before opening/executing.
This is so relevant right now, as employees working from home computers could have hugely different security setups, with different programs installed that haven’t been verified by your IT administrator. It is everyone’s job to practice caution and help stop the spread of malware.
To, CC & BCC.
This is one that a lot of organisations still aren’t getting right. Under the Data Protection Act (2018), we must be very careful with individuals’ personal data. Take a moment before you press send to consider whether you’re sharing someone’s personal contact information via the ‘To’ and ‘CC’ boxes, and consider whether you should be using the ‘BCC’ option instead. The BCC box allows us to copy multiple into an email thread without each person who receives the email seeing each other’s information.
Kick out the spam.
Make use of your spam filter, and mark any spam that makes it through to better instruct your filter on what you don’t want to see going forward. This can be tricky, as relevant emails can be mis-categorised and filtered. You should use your ‘safe senders’ function in this scenario, to make sure you aren’t missing anything from that sender going forward. Similarly, making use of your ‘block’ and ‘report’ tools to get rid of the malicious stuff will help keep you safe going forward.
We hope these email safety reminders and pointers were helpful. For further reading, Get Safe Online have some fantastic advice and tips. If you need any further support, or need any information about our training programs and Data Protection Officer services, we’d love to talk to you.