As small and medium-sized business owners, we make every effort to ensure that our networks are protected from malware, viruses, and spam. It only takes one user to click on a link in a spam or phishing email to bring down the whole network. How do we educate our users so that they become critical consumers in a high-tech workplace?
To answer this question, let’s first define a critical consumer. A critical consumer is a person that filters the information being presented to them by various mediums. In the office, the mediums can be email, websites, social media applications like Facebook, Instagram and others. To be a critical consumer one must take a moment when viewing information from these various outlets and determine what the source of the information is trying to accomplish. Being critical about the information you're receiving online can mean a world of difference when it comes to potentially thwarting a risky email or cyber attack.
Since email is the primary source for many of the most damaging malware infections we are going to provide some email related guidelines that you can share with your employees to help make them better critical consumers. To check out our full list of 15 tips for educating your employees about email safety, download our checklist: Educating Employees: Becoming a Critical Consumer.
5 Best Practice Tips for Email Safety:
- Use strong passwords.
- Don’t open an email attachment unless you know who sent it and/or you are expecting it.
- If you receive an attachment from someone you don’t know and you are not expecting it, delete it immediately or contact your IT administrator and have them investigate it. Never open an attachment or link if you are unsure of the sender or the content.
- Don’t share passwords with anyone. Password management is a significant step in ensuring the safety of your online accounts. Update your password regularly and store the information using a secure password management software.
- Always log out of your machine at the end of the day.
Your network security is only as strong as its weakest link, and in most cases, the weakest link is the employee. Learn to be a critical consumer and pass those skills on to your employees so you can rest assured that your network is in good hands.
If you have any additional questions about practicing email security within your business, contact SumnerOne. Our team of IT experts is always willing to share their knowledge with others. Contact us today for a security assessment. We're ready to help you get a handle on your IT infrastructure.
Originally published January 2, 2018, updated April 9, 2019