E-Mail Security – How do I protect my e-mail inbox?
Reading Time: 4min | Author: Lukas Dubiel| 05.09.2022
Content of the article
- Email security: How do I protect my email inbox?
- What is email security?
- E mail security: What threats are there?
- Phishing emails
- Social engineering
- Why is email security so important for companies?
- What are the best practices for optimal email security?
- Disguise main email, use less frequently
- Use disposable emails
- Set the spam filter correctly and mark spam
- Secure Email Gateway (SEG)
Email security: How do I protect my email inbox?
The email inbox is the main gateway for malware. A simple click on a link can cause huge damage. Millions of e-mail addresses and passwords are leaked on the Internet every day. This results in billions of malicious emails cluttering the inboxes of Internet users. According to Verizon, 90% of all cyberattacks are initiated via email.
Want to know how to protect your email inbox from spam, malware and phishing emails? Then you’ve come to the right place.
What is e-mail security?
Email security is a sub-area of cybersecurity. It encompasses all methods and measures that ensure the secure exchange and receipt of emails and the secure use of email inboxes. This includes areas such as spam filters, email encryption, secure mail gateways and zero day. Measures to educate employees are just as important as technical methods. Through ignorance and negligence, they often create vulnerabilities that are used as gateways for malware.
E-mail security: What threats are there?
All different types of cyber threats are summarized under the term malware. The term covers spyware, ransomware, viruses, Trojans, worms and other methods used by cyber criminals to cause damage to the servers and networks of organizations.
Spam is the umbrella term for sending and receiving mass messages and emails. These messages are generally unwanted by the recipient. Spam messages are rather harmless compared to other threats in the field of email security. However, the consequence of mass spam mails is chaos in e-mail inboxes and overloaded mail servers.
Although spamming is very annoying, spam mails do not usually pose a direct threat to the integrity of a server, network or IT infrastructure.
The threat level in terms of email security increases significantly when we talk about phishing. In this case, emails are sent with the clear intention of gaining unauthorized access to a network or stealing sensitive data.
A malicious attachment or link is included in the email in question. Phishing emails often also ask the addressee to take action with the aim of disclosing passwords or other sensitive data.
In social engineering, cyber criminals try to manipulate people in organizations and get them to disclose confidential information (passwords, account and access data). This allows them to gain access to the company network or infiltrate malware into the organization’s infrastructure. Strictly speaking, phishing is also a type of social engineering.
Social engineering is significantly more complex and elaborate than conventional methods. Loopholes in email security are often the result of careless actions by employees. By disclosing confidential images and information in social networks, cyber criminals can collect the necessary data without a barrier and then develop an individual attack strategy.
Why e-mail security is so important for companies
Emails will continue to be the most important communication channel in companies in 2022. This applies not only to communication within the company, but also externally. Almost all employees open and send emails every day. Cyber criminals are aware of this and choose email inboxes as their main target. Millions of malicious emails end up in the email inboxes of email users in Germany every minute.
What are the best practices for optimal e-mail security?
Disguise your main email and use it less often
Every time you enter your email online, the risk of being leaked increases. To be as safe as possible on the Internet, you should enter your main e-mail address as rarely as possible. Using unimportant e-mail addresses with pseudonyms instead of your real name prevents your real name from appearing on the Internet unintentionally. This prevents spam and other malware from landing in your most important mailbox.
Use disposable e-mails
There are some free tools that allow you to disguise your main email and use a disposable email instead of the actual email address. For example, if you subscribe to a newsletter, a unique email address can be generated. The emails are redirected to the main email address. If one day you have had enough of the newsletter or suddenly receive annoying spam via the address, you can simply block or delete it without having to re-register everywhere.
Set the spam filter correctly and mark spam
A rather banal tip. Nevertheless, it is often not used. If you regularly receive spam emails, you should make sure that you consistently mark them as spam and clear them out instead of just ignoring them. Mailboxes and spam filters can then learn and recognize patterns and thus decide more precisely in future whether the email should be displayed regularly or not.
Secure Email Gateway (SEG)
Secure email gateways are used to protect business email inboxes. This is software or hardware that closely examines email traffic and, similar to a firewall, decides which emails can pass through and which cannot. Modern companies often rely on cloud-based email gateways in this context. Site-based email gateways offer an alternative.
Do you need help with cybersecurity?
An IT service provider like jemix can help you set up a modern cybersecurity solution and is available to you as an external consultant and IT specialist. Arrange your free initial consultation today!