Can Improper Email Handling Cost Your Company?
Email is undoubtedly one of the most important and effective channels when it comes to business communication.
You exchange sensitive information with your customers, vendors, and business partners through this channel. If you have several email accounts, it can be difficult to organize emails safely and securely. A multi email app keeps all of your accounts in one place while filtering spam. It can also keep your information safe from tracking services and protects you from being targeted by them.
If you don’t store and protect the emails you receive properly, there’s a number of very costly risks that your business can face. For example, the average cost of a data breach amounts to almost $4 million.
Needless to say that cyber attacks and subsequent data breaches won’t only hurt your business financially. Your reputation will also suffer.
Here are some tips to help you handle your emails properly and prevent the worst-case scenarios and financial ruin.
Educate Your Employees
Every employee needs to be aware of email security best practices and adhere to them. Instead of presuming that this is common knowledge, you should take a proactive approach and invest in employee training.
Weak passwords are one of the biggest security risks, which is why it’s important to make sure that the people who work for you use only strings of characters that are hard to crack. Some people tend to use the names of their kids or pets, as well as the date of their birthday or wedding anniversary. Such information is easy to find on Facebook or other social media platforms, meaning that a password containing this is easy to guess.
Similarly, using the same password for multiple accounts is not a good idea. Once cybercriminals hack an email account, they will check whether the same password works on different websites and platforms.
Using two-factor authentication will add another layer of security and protect your business email accounts against data loss.
By educating your employees and promoting email security awareness, you can keep your corporate emails safe and avoid getting sued for a data breach and compromising your customers’ personal details.
Archive Your Emails Properly
Storing your business emails properly and securely is a must.
And that’s not something that you can do by backing them up.
In order to make sure that your emails are stored in their original format so that they can be easily retrieved for daily business operations, you should think about opting for email archiving solutions.
Apart from preventing data loss, this procedure will ensure that your organization is in compliance with regulations, as well as that you can search and quickly recover any information in case of litigation. In other words, an automated email archiving solution extracts the content of all email messages and their attachments and then stores them in an indexed, searchable, read-only format so that they can be easily located and retrieved.
Companies are required to store and keep their business correspondence, including electronic records, for a predefined amount of time and hand it over in case they have to disclose the information as evidence in lawsuits, audits, or investigations. Failure to respond to such requirements in a timely manner can result in hefty penalties.
These deadlines are usually pretty tight while the amount of data to review is massive, which is why many companies hire external legal teams to help them retrieve all the information. The trouble we’re talking about is a very expensive process whose cost is $1.8 million on average.
Specialized email archiving software comes with a number of ediscovery features that allow organizations to preserve, classify, filter, search, access, and retrieve their email messages, thus significantly reducing their costs.
Don’t Send Unsolicited Emails
In many countries, it’s illegal to send unsolicited emails to people, and such behavior results in severe financial penalties. This means that you need permission from your recipients if you want to contact them via email.
There are two kinds of permission:
- Implied permission refers to having an existing business relationship with a recipient. In other words, you can email a customer who has already purchased something from you, someone who has donated money to your charity, or a person who has given you their business card. It’s considered a less direct form of consent. That’s why you should be careful about this type of consent as it expires over a certain period of time. For example, according to CASL, it’s valid for two years after they make a purchase.
- Express permission is a direct form of consent that you can obtain from your prospects with whom you haven’t had a previous relationship. By opting in or signing up for your newsletter, they practically give you permission to send them marketing campaigns and offers. However, it’s crucial to include an opt-out or unsubscribe button in your emails in order to stay compliant. Otherwise, you risk a penalty of up to almost $44,000 per email, according to the CAN-SPAM Act.
So, it’s always best to obtain permission before you add contacts to your email list and start reaching out to them. Not only is this important for staying compliant with legal regulations, but it will also show your recipients that you’re not a spammer and that you respect their privacy.
Scan Emails You Receive for Viruses
While it’s important to handle the emails you receive properly, another equally essential task is making sure that the emails you receive are safe. Sometimes attachments can contain viruses and malware that can infect your computer and subsequently your entire network.
Use a screening solution that will scan your incoming emails and check whether they contain suspicious elements. You’ll be notified in case there are some red flags and instructed what you should do to say safe.
If you use hosted email services, it’s important to enable security options you want, and it’s a good idea to pay for advanced, premium features if you want to fortify your email security.
Not handling your emails properly can be very costly, which is why following these tips can help you avoid significant penalties.