Spam email is more than a frustration for businesses. It’s often responsible for phishing scams and other types of email fraud. It’s also a waste of time for your employees who must weed through each one to determine if they’re legitimate or not.

How can you stop this?

Here Are 5 Questions You Should Ask Your IT Provider:

  1. How can you safeguard our business from email spam?
  2. Can you prevent not only spam but worms and other email threats?
  3. Can you provide a comprehensive spam management solution with multiple layers of detection?
  4. Does your solution guard against malware, zero-day exploits, and other sophisticated cyber threats?
  5. What about threats like phishing and spear-phishing?

Your IT provider should employ an email spam filter that scans every incoming email in real time. It should also block suspicious attachments and URLs.

The right protection will include a dynamic user-awareness capability that helps your employees assess risks as part of their email and internet use. It should be a solution that prevents them from inadvertently clicking on links in phishing or spear-phishing emails that can reveal your confidential information.  Plus, it should be updated regularly to protect against the latest email threats.

The best email spam protection also includes simplified searching capabilities with complete email indexing. It should allow for easy access to your critical records any time you need them. And, it should provide flexible search options, along with attachment and message archiving. This helps to streamline your business processes by offloading substantial storage needs from your server.

In The Meantime, What Can You And Your Employees Do To Prevent Being Victimized By Email Spam?

Email spam, phishing, and spear-phishing have taken down many businesses. They are the most dangerous causes of identity theft. Companies both large and small have had their accounts taken over from phishing attacks where an employee in an organization gets tricked into revealing confidential data and credentials.

Here are 10 tips to share with your employees:

  1. Scrutinize every email that comes across your screen. If an email contains a link, don’t click it. First, verify the sender’s identity.
  2. Be suspicious of any email that asks for information, for you to send money, or to pay an overdue invoice.
  3. Never respond to a request from your CEO, CFO, or another executive in your company for an urgent payment or wire transfer. Employees are fooled by this all the time where a thief impersonates a person of authority in their organization (spear phishing). Contact the CEO or CFO directly to determine if this request is valid.
  4. Never reveal your contact details, including your passwords, Social Security Number, user IDs, or other private information.
  5. Don’t trust emails that say they are from the IRS or a bank asking for private information. No legitimate government or financial organization would ever ask for this data in an email.
  6. Be cautious about attachments in emails. They might contain malware that can infect your computers and work their way throughout your entire network.
  7. If you want to check out a URL in an email address, type it into your browser. Don’t click it. URLs today should all begin with https rather than just http. It should also have an icon that looks like a lock next to it. This tells you that the website is valid and secure.
  8. Use Multi-Factor Authentication whenever possible. It will require your username, password, and an additional piece of information that’s sent to you via your phone, email or a generated code from the software.
  9. Make sure your IT provider automatically updates all of your software and operating systems and keeps them patched. This will further protect your computers and network from the latest cyber threats.
  10. Always make sure your IT infrastructure and files are backed up to an external hard drive and an enterprise-based cloud storage solution that your IT provider suggests. Better yet, ask them to virtualize your IT system so you have a complete clone of all your applications and IT solutions that you can recover within minutes of your system being hacked, compromised or if data is stolen or held hostage.

Ask your employees to tell you if any of the following 6 things occur. If so, report this to us immediately:   

  1. If they find that they can’t open their files.
  2. If they receive an error message indicating that a file contains the wrong extension.
  3. If they receive an error message that reports a file is corrupt.
  4. If they get a pop-up window that says their files have been held hostage by a ransomware program and payment is requested to unlock the files.
  5. If they receive a message saying that a countdown has begun, that their files are being encrypted, and to decrypt them requires paying a ransom or the fine will increase over time.
  6. If they see any files in their directories with names like: “How to decrypt files.txt” or “decrypt_instructions.html.”

These are all potential hazards that shouldn’t be ignored. If any of them occur, be sure to contact us immediately.