How to Protect Your Business from Spam and Phishing Scams
As most businesses are moving their work from the office to their homes, they unintentionally open themselves to a host of new vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of remote workers and stressed IT systems by sending out spam and phishing emails.
If your business is transitioning to a remote workforce, make yourself and your employees aware of these new risks and create protocols to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.
What Is Spam?
Spam is an unwanted, unsolicited, repetitive email from unknown senders. Today, spam has evolved into being far more than just a nuisance; they now include real threats that work to get sensitive data from you, like usernames, passwords, and banking information.
Worse, most spam emails now contain attachments that include malware that can steal those credentials from your system directly or hijack your systems unless you pay a ransom to regain control.
The most straightforward layer of protection you can add is an email spam filter.
How Do Spam Filters Keep Spam Out of Your Inboxes?
Email spam filtering uses a set of protocols to determine which messages are spam and which are legitimate. Each spam filter looks at three main areas:
Header data is at the top of the email that you never have to see. It shows the IP address of every server that touched the email, dates, time stamps, signatures, and more.
Spam filters look for blatant attempts to deceive the recipient and appear legitimate and also compare addresses to blacklists of known spammers to filter out.
Blacklists are lists of known spammers collected by ISPs, email providers, and server admins.
Emails containing attached executable files or links to blacklisted websites are dead giveaways and are blocked immediately, as are messages that use common spam keywords.
Additional Security Measures to Defend Your Business Against Spam
Spam filters help, but they’re still not perfect. Algorithms that spam filters use aren’t just combatting code; they’re also going up against human minds.
Take these additional steps to protect yourself and your business from spam and other cyber attacks:
- Warn employees about malicious websites
- Train employees to spot phishing emails
- Never send private information over email
- Don’t open attachments
- Create off-site backups of your data in case of a breach
- Limit employee access to sensitive data
- Ask employees to update their passwords to protect their home WiFi network, especially if they connect to your systems from home
Spam Filters Help, But You Need a Holistic Approach to Email Security.
You cannot secure your email by installing one security measure; you need a comprehensive security protocol that can adjust to your business’s current needs. Installing a spam filter is just one step you need to take to protect your data.
Follow these steps to get your employees on the same page, and take a holistic approach to email security.