A big part of managing business IT securely is ensuring that your staff knows how to tell a safe email from a risky one.

Unknowingly clicking on an email that results in a virus or malware is a risk we all face every day.   There’s also the threat of “spoofing”, when an email address is forged so the email appears to be from someone you know but it really isn’t.

According to the FBI, between October, 2013 and August, 2015, 7,066 US businesses have fallen prey to “business email compromise” netting criminals an estimated $747 million.  Spoofing is such a serious issue that Microsoft will be making security improvements in Office 365 to try and identify spoofed emails before they get to your Inbox.

What can you and your staff do to help protect yourselves?

In general, be aware of emails that are out of the ordinary.  Some common tricks are distribution lists of people you don’t recognize, spelling errors or requests for information, and links with unusual addresses.

Don’t click on a link or attachment that looks suspicious.  If you’re not sure, send a new email to the sender to confirm that the information is legitimate.

If the email looks legitimate but has a specific request, such as asking you to transfer funds, ALWAYS follow-up with the sender before you take action.  We’ve seen emails among our Cleveland clients that appeared to come from a person in charge requesting a financial transfer that in reality were fake.

Talk these issues over with your IT provider to make sure you have the right technology in place.  From there, educate your staff so they’ll know how to identify a safe email and help keep your network more secure from a breach.

If you need help managing your business IT, contact CRU Solutions.