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Email Security Best Practices for Small Business Owners

Email security is essential for any business, but small companies are more likely to be the target of cyber attacks. Fortunately, several email security best practices can help reduce your risk of an attack.

For starters, employees should use strong passwords. This means combining upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.

Screen Incoming Communications

One of the best ways to protect your business is to screen incoming communications before they reach your users’ inboxes. Having your email servers and gateway filters intercept incoming messages can identify and block spam and malware before they reach your employees’ inboxes.

This email security gateway helps to ensure your employees can focus on the work they need to do rather than being distracted by emails or spam. It also allows you to enforce your email security policies, keeping your company and customers safe.

In addition, it lays the foundation for other security measures, like encryption and password-based access to sensitive files. Using this technology with other methods can prevent hackers from accessing your business and its data.

Finally, some email software features are designed to recognize phishing emails or spoofing calls, so the email server can filter out your inbox and delete them. These include tools that allow you to input known phishing addresses or specify words and phrases used in phishing emails, which can then be filtered out of the mail system or moved to a spam folder.

It would help if you also considered implementing call screening features, such as Do-not-disturb (DND), which lets you choose which calls you want to accept and which ones you want to ignore. This can be a great way to save you time and effort, especially since many small business phone systems come with this feature as part of the package.

Enforce Email Security Protocols

An email is a vital tool in today’s business environment, but it can also be a significant source of cyber security risks. Small businesses must take extra care to protect their sensitive information and prevent hackers from stealing it.

The first step in protecting emails is to enforce email security protocols company-wide. This involves a combination of human and technological prevention measures, allowing business owners to identify and block threats before they get into the organization’s inboxes.

Password management policies are essential to preventing malicious actors from accessing a company’s email accounts. These policies ensure employees create strong passwords that are challenging to crack.

Advanced email security practices include encrypting all sensitive data sent through email. This enables senders to verify the recipient’s identity before sending the content and allows them to revoke access after it’s received.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is another crucial email security protocol that helps organizations to detect phishing and other malicious communications. It uses a mix of SPF and DKIM protocols, checking the domain an email uses to ensure it’s legitimate before the recipient receives it.

Enforcing email security protocols is an excellent first step, but small business owners should also educate their employees about how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. They should also make sure their employees back up critical information regularly.

Train Your Employees

Email is vital in many businesses, but cybercriminals can use it to steal sensitive information. This can lead to business interruption, data breaches, malware, and ransomware attacks.

To protect your company, you need to implement a strong email security strategy and take steps to ensure that everyone on your team understands how to stay secure. You can start by training your employees on basic email security best practices and how to avoid common cyber security threats like phishing scams, malware, and social engineering.

You can also conduct regular phishing simulations and encourage them to report suspicious emails. This is important so your cybersecurity teams can address these threats quickly.

Another best email security practice is to require strong passwords. This can prevent hackers from stealing passwords, one of the most common ways to gain access to an account.

Employees should also be trained to identify a phishing attack, including red flags such as an unfamiliar sender, a vague subject line, and a link that looks too good to be true. They should be reminded to check the email address and domain, to look at the links within the message, and to use caution when downloading attachments.

Suppose you want to learn more about protecting your business against email-borne cyberattacks. In that case, SBA and our Resource Partners have a variety of in-person and virtual cybersecurity events for small business owners. To learn more about these and other resources, visit our Small Business Security section or contact SBA’s Small Business Service Center.

Create a Retention Policy

A retention policy is essential to email security and helps protect you from data breaches, unauthorized access, or legal repercussions. It enables administrators to control and preserve content for as long as necessary. It also blocks the permanent deletion of files and can be applied to specific folders or the entire organization.

Developing an effective retention policy requires collaboration with your business’s IT, legal, and critical stakeholders. It should be approved by top-level executives, backed by a written policy, and supported by training, auditing, and reporting.

Before creating your retention policy, categorize the information you need to retain and determine the required minimum retention periods. These retention timelines will help you stay in compliance with government, state, and industry regulations.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for email retention policies, a best practice is to set a standard retention period for all categories and types of emails. This lets you quickly and accurately track email communication and meet compliance needs while preserving business continuity.

An automated email archiving solution can create retention policies manually or automatically. These solutions can scan outgoing, incoming, and internal messages for specific keywords and trigger notifications to admins or compliance officers when a rule is breached.

It is also good to periodically review and update your retention policy. This can help you ensure it is up-to-date with the latest government, state, and industry regulations and business changes.

I am a professional writer and blogger. I’m researching and writing about innovation, Blockchain, technology, business, and the latest marketing trends. I am also the admin of Travels Universeand The Girv

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