Organizations today depend on emails for even small communication. This dependence on emails can be seen in how day-to-day enterprise processes are executed through emails – management sends out important messages, news updates, etc. via emails, you are in constant touch with your clients through emails, and some organizations even outsource their email management. Being such a heavily used communication system, emails contain lots of sensitive and confidential information and trade secrets.
As a result, emails have become a vulnerable area for every enterprise, and attackers are finding it as a soft target. While nobody wants to fall for a phishing scam, it is no brainer that, in this digital age, we might end up falling for one of their tricks. Thus arise the necessity of using phishing prevention best practices to avoid any phishing attacks.
Phishing Countermeasures Or Safeguards
Try implementing these phishing prevention best practices for better security of your email communication systems.
- Staying away from suspicious emails should be your first task at hand. Make sure that your employees are alert. Phishers use tempting offers and click baits to lure you into clicking on infected URL or links in e-mail messages to acquire sensitive information. You might be a little curious to know what’s inside these email attachments, but even opening the e-mails can allow attackers to breach into your system’s security. It is also important to report such suspicious activities noticed on your system or mail. Contact your IT security department. Don’t try to solve the problem or take countermeasures against the breach if you are not sufficiently knowledgeable of the protocol.
- Backup, restoration, and testing should be periodically done, and your system regularly updated. Security patches are also updated for browsers every day. An updated system allows an additional layer of protection by routinely patching possible and newly discovered security vulnerabilities which the phishers use to exploit your system. Don’t postpone your updates. Further, with important communications or financial transactions, use the dual-control (2FA, Two-Factor-Authentication) procedure. This is a secure system to prevent phishing attack and is one of the best phishing prevention best practices.
- Digitally signed confidential emails add an extra layer of security as the cyber attackers cannot alter the content of the mail while transferring. Other SSL/TSL certificates also encrypt email communications and protect your emails.
- It is a general rule that you should not give out any personal or financial account details over emails. Never use any email links to enter any crucial information. In case of any suspicious requests for these details, it is advisable to visit their main company website. Further, it should be part of your habit to verify a site‘s security. Before proceeding on any website, make sure that the address bar has the padlock icon, and the address starts with “https.”
- At times when you don’t need to visit every online account you have. But to avoid any daunting situations and things getting out of control, it is advisable to check in on your online accounts once in a while.
- Next-Gen firewalls are essential buffers to prevent any data breaches. Using a desktop and a network firewall is an integral part of your security policy and phishing prevention best practices.
- Stay updated with your organization’s email policies. Many organizations and companies would never ask you to send your user credentials in an email. There are many other networks or email policies which could save you from a disaster. Be sure to stay updated with the latest policies.
- Configuring your email account is necessary to prevent phishing attack. Do your research and then choose the best email configuration with security features. Some of the most popular ones include Apple Mail, Google Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook for Mac and Windows.
- Don’t store passwords on your browser. If any of your passwords is compromised, it could lead to a chain of disasters and compromise all your accounts. The strength of passwords matter and it is also essential that you change your password every few days to avoid any scams. Do not use your personal information (such as your name, date of birth, address, mobile number etc.) for generating a password.
- Avoid using removable drives on your office systems. It is effortless for malware to attack your SD cards and iPods. It is better to avoid keeping any critical information on these gadgets.