Your email server is an important aspect of your business. It is the main line of communication between you, staff, suppliers and customers. However, so many businesses fail to keep their email systems secure. This means that criminals can hijack emails. This can harm your reputation and cause a significant loss of money.

According to statistics, there are successful hacking attempts every 39 seconds in the world and cybercriminals are making an estimated $400 billion worldwide*.

How do criminals use your email account?

When a criminal gains access to your email account they can get a lot of information that is sensitive and can do a lot of damage to you and your clients. For instance, they can steal payment information, addresses and order information. This is enough information to commit fraud against those businesses without it being traced back to them.

In addition, they could pose as you and send out legitimate-looking emails that contain links to websites that contain viruses or collect information such as fraudulent payments. This can be really damaging to your business as some will question your security and others will abandon your business.

In addition, you can lose control of your emails and hackers can delete vital communications.

Finally, you can be charged for breaching GDPR laws if you’re found to have been lacking in security. These fines can be very high and can be hard to recover. In fact, more often than not, a business that suffers from a cyber-attack will not recover and close within two years.

How to keep your email account secure

Here are several ways to keep your email server and the attached emails secure.

1. Use a quality email server host

The first thing you should do is ensure that you have a secure email server. This is done by choosing the most professional hosting service. They will have the technology embedded within their system to prevent hacks from outsiders getting into your systems through the backdoor.

There should be a firewall at the very least, most hosting companies have the best security and regularly update their server software to stop hackers from gaining access. So choosing to work with a good email server host can be worth the investment.

2. Choose a strong password

If you have a domain, and hackers know your name, they will likely try to force their way into your email account by guessing your password. Most people use one of a few select passwords. This makes it far too easy for criminals to guess your password and gain access.

The most common passwords include password, 123456 and some varieties of these. Instead, you should be creating a password that is between 8 and 10 characters long and contains at least one number, one upper case letter, one lower case letter and a special character. These are hard for hackers to guess.

3. Never write down your password

Many passwords are lost because people write them down. In fact, a lot of cybercrimes are committed by people known to the target including your own employees. Therefore, don’t write down passwords or have account sharing.

4. Train staff to take cybersecurity seriously

The number one way to avoid your email server being hacked is to ensure that staff are trained. Too many employees are willing to click on links inside unverified emails or send payment details over email.

Regular training helps to reduce the chances that an employee gives away details or becomes the access point for hackers. You should do regular refresher training to ensure employees remember the important security lessons.

5. Remove old accounts immediately

Anytime that someone leaves your organisation you should remove their email straight away. This prevents them from giving details away to a third party, or even logging in again later on. This is more important if you fired them or they left angry at the company.

Don’t play a game of chance with your email server security. Ensure that you have the most secure system to keep you, your business, your employees, suppliers and customers safe. Follow the tips above and you’ll be reducing the chances that hackers can gain access to your email server. Take the first step an use our email hosting services which you can find out more about here.