Employee Email

Email Security Tips For Employees

By Phil Manzano

Updated:

Email security is more important than ever. With the prevalence of ransomware, phishing, and other malicious activities targeting email accounts, it is critical to have a secure email system in place. 

A secure email system should include measures such as encryption, authentication protocols, and virus scanning.

And while these terms might be a bit intimidating, there are some relatively easy measures that can be employed to keep your internal communications secure. But how do you communicate this importance to your entire team, and get them to take the right steps?

Here are some tips and sample messages you can use to inform and educate your team about email security.

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Why is Email Security Important?

The simplest way to communicate the importance of email security is by sharing some of the risks posed by not having a secure email system. 

For example, you can point out that email accounts are frequently targeted by hackers, scammers, and other malicious actors who could gain access to sensitive information stored in emails.

You can also explain how a secure email system helps protect against these attacks, by encrypting messages and using authentication protocols that make it harder for malicious actors to gain access. In addition, virus scanning keeps your system free of malicious code, which is essential for maintaining data integrity.

Communicating Email Security to Employees

Once you’ve established the importance of email security, it’s time to communicate your message to the team. Start by sending out an internal email or posting a notice on your intranet outlining your email security expectations.

Make sure to include information about the measures you’ve taken to ensure a secure system and also provide instructions on how to use the system securely. Being clear at this step can be a huge driver of employee engagement

For example, you can remind employees not to open emails from unknown addresses, and not to click on links or download attachments from them. You should also provide information about where they can go for help if they have any questions or need assistance with their email accounts. 

Finally, make sure that all employees are aware of the current security measures in place to help protect their data.

Here are some of the most common types of messages you can use to communicate email security with your team:

Password management

Tell your team about the importance of strong passwords, and how they can create secure passwords that are easy to remember yet difficult to guess. Keeping these passwords confidential is just as important, so make sure to remind them not to share their passwords with anyone else. 

You could also suggest that they use a password manager to help manage their passwords securely. If you’re looking for some messaging to convey this information, a sample message might look like this:

“We highly recommend that you create secure passwords for all of your email accounts. A strong password should include at least 8 characters, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important to keep these passwords confidential – never share them with anyone! If you’re having trouble managing your passwords, we suggest using a password manager.”

Create strong passwords

Instruct your team on how to create strong passwords. Remind them to avoid using common phrases or words that are easy to guess, and not to use the same password for multiple accounts. Also, suggest they create longer passwords of at least 8 characters, with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

Use a password manager

Explain the importance of using a password manager to store passwords securely and generate strong, unique passwords. A password manager can help employees create and manage secure passwords without having to remember them all.

Here’s a sample message you can send to communicate this:

“We strongly recommend using a password manager to help create and store secure passwords. A password manager can generate strong, unique passwords for each account you use, which helps protect your data from malicious actors. It also stores the passwords in an encrypted vault to keep them safe from outside threats.”

Utilize two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Explain the importance of using two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect your email accounts from unauthorized access. These protocols require an additional layer of security, such as a one-time code sent to your mobile phone, in order for you to gain access.

Here’s a sample message you can use to communicate this:

“We strongly recommend using two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) when accessing your email accounts. This will provide an additional layer of security and help protect your data from malicious actors. When enabled, it requires an additional code sent to your mobile phone for you to gain access.”

Identify suspicious emails and links

Remind your team to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with emails and links. Instruct them to never open attachments or click on links from unknown senders, as they can contain malicious code or scams. Advise employees that if an email looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here’s a sample message you can use to communicate this:

“We remind you to be vigilant when dealing with emails and links. Never open attachments or click on links from unknown senders, as they may contain malicious code or scams. Be wary of any emails that look too good to be true, as they could be fraudulent.”

Recognize phishing emails and links

Ensure your team is aware of phishing emails and links, which are used by malicious actors to gain access to your accounts. Instruct them to never respond to suspicious emails or click on any links contained in them. You could also consider providing additional phishing awareness training to help employees identify phishing emails.

Here’s a sample message you can use to communicate this:

“We remind you to be aware of phishing emails and links. These are used by malicious actors to gain access to your accounts. Never respond to suspicious emails or click on any links contained in them, as they could lead you to a fraudulent website.”

Spot malicious attachments and links in emails

Explain to your team how to spot malicious attachments and links in emails. Remind them to look out for suspicious URLs, misspellings, and email addresses that don’t match the sender’s name. Helping your team understand the signs of malicious emails can go a long way in protecting them from becoming victims of cybercrime.

If you’re stuck, here’s a sample message you can use to communicate this:

“We remind you to be aware of malicious attachments and links in emails. Look out for suspicious URLs, misspellings, and email addresses that don’t match the sender’s name. Never open any attachments or click on any links from unknown senders.”

Use caution with personal email communications

Instruct your team to be careful of what they send and receive through their personal email accounts. Malicious actors can access these accounts, so it’s important not to share any sensitive or confidential information. Some members of your team might feel that their personal email accounts are secure, but it’s important to remind them of the risks associated with using these accounts.

This can be a tough message to craft, so here’s a sample you can use to communicate this:

“We remind you to exercise caution when sending and receiving emails from your personal accounts. Never share any sensitive or confidential information through these accounts, as malicious actors can access them.”

Secure your device and software

Remind your team to regularly update their devices and software with the latest security patches. Explain how this helps protect against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. You could also suggest simple actions like locking their device when not in use, using strong passwords, and setting up two-factor authentication.

Need a sample message? Here’s one you can use:

“We remind you to regularly update your devices and software with the latest security patches. This helps protect against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. This will also help secure your device and data, so be sure to take the necessary steps like locking your device when not in use, using strong passwords, and setting up two-factor authentication.”

Ensure your devices are secure from cyber attacks

Advise your team to install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on all their devices. Explain how this will help protect against cyber attacks and intrusions. Try not to alarm your team by emphasizing the risks, but rather focus on providing information about how they can protect themselves from cyber threats.

If you’re stuck, here’s a sample message that you can use:

“We recommend installing reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on all your devices. This will help protect against cyber attacks and unauthorized access, such as through two-factor authentication or a one-time passcode sent to your mobile phone for you to gain access.”

Send Emails Your Team Will Pay Attention To

Regardless of your particular situation, you should make sure to communicate the seriousness of cyber security in your emails. Pull from the most relevant sections of your company’s cyber security policies and procedures to ensure everyone is familiar with their responsibilities. Use the samples in this blog that make cyber security easier to understand.

You can also build out useful internal communication templates to send to your team that they can reference and use in the future, all in a single email template builder for Outlook or Gmail. An employee communication platform like ContactMonkey makes it easy to create and send email templates that adhere to email design best practices, with automated reminders that your team can refer to in order to stay on top of their cyber security precautions. 

Hopefully, this helps you get started in educating your team about cybersecurity. Try it for free today.

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