As a businessperson, a hacked email can have devastating results. At best, the hacker sends a few spam emails to your contacts, tarnishing your reputation. At worst, sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. With the increasing number of hacking cases, knowing how to send a secure email is more important than ever.
How to Send a Secure Email
1. Encrypt Everything
Encryption, or the scrambling of data so that only those with the correct key can decrypt it, is the most basic way to send a secure email.
It’s a little bit more complicated than you might think, so PC Advisor has a guide to encrypting emails on most major email clients. No individual other than the intended recipient will be able to read the contents of an encrypted email.
When you’re sending an important attachment, it helps to encrypt the file itself as well. Upon receiving an encrypted file, the recipient will need a password to decrypt it. This way, if the file end up being intercepted by a hacker, it’s less likely that the information it contains will be accessed. We have a blog providing instructions on how to encrypt files in Microsoft Office that you can find here.
And finally, if you’re sending an email through a wireless connection, ensure that it, too, is encrypted and password-protected as well. Public Wi-Fi networks are extremely insecure, making your emails a sitting duck for any hacker who is even remotely tech-savvy.
2. Double Check the Recipients List
Make sure you’ve double checked the recipients you’ve included in your email before sending, especially if you’re replying to a message. You may have pressed “Reply All” by mistake, which can lead to sensitive information getting into the possession of people who shouldn’t have it.
When you’re quickly writing an email, it’s possible that the recipients field autofills the name of a contact to whom you did not intend to send the message. Get in the habit of giving it a second glance before pressing send.
3. Don’t Be Trigger Happy with Forwarding
Forwarding emails is the best way to bring someone up to speed on a topic without having to write your own summary, but it could also be a potential security threat.
Everyone involved in the email chain has their email address listed in the body of previous messages when an email is forwarded. If a spammer gets a hold of that chain, they can target the listed email addresses with spam and spoof email scams.
4. Don’t Send Information to Suspicious Accounts
This should go without saying, but don’t reply to any suspicious emails you receive. Banks and online stores will never ask you for financial information through email. If they do, you should regard that email as fraud and report it. Do not send a response.