How To Stay Safe While Using Email

By Alan Gladman


In our digital era, it seems that we must strive to avoid those who would do us harm. There are numerous ways you can lose out on the Internet, specifically when using some form of email communication. While very important to us and our businesses, email can be a direct route to trouble. Here are the top five tips you can follow to make sure you stay as safe as possible while utilising email.

1 – Email Attachments

We feel the number one tip to avoid trouble while using email is this: Never open an attachment on an email that you weren’t expecting, and that you don’t know the sender. Attachments can harbour the nastiest of viruses and malware, such as crypto locker and crypto wall. Beware of ALL messages that you didn’t solicit, in fact. Do you know the sender? Were you expecting the email? If you answer no to these questions, then it’s best to just delete the message immediately.

2 – Private Information

Never disclose private information, such as passwords or banking details, through email. Most organisations will never ask for this and will especially never ask for you to reply to their email with personal information. Think of it this way: Would you send your credit card details to a complete stranger? If the email isn’t legitimate, this is what you are doing!

3 – Verify

If the message is from a government department such as the ATO, or another official department, don’t act on the email contents. Call the ATO yourself, using the correct number from their website, and speak to a representative. Verifying the information in the email is key, especially if the email claims, for example, that you owe a large amount of tax debt. 

4 – Links, beware

Don’t click on links in an email, unless you trust the sender 100%. These links can take you to “phishing” sites, fake versions of real sites, or potentially expose your computer to malware – beware of messages that request you to update your personal details for Facebook, or bank etc.

5 – Don’t forward!

We’ve all experienced chain emails, where hundreds of people forward on a single message, and each one forwards it on to another hundred, and this single email can propagate across thousands and thousands of recipients. If that email has a dodgy attachment, which infected the original person unbeknownst to them, that virus can spread very far. You can do your part to stop the spread of potentially virus filled messages by simply deleting them when you receive chain emails. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you have any questions about your business email accounts, call Realised Technologies on (07) 4051 4200 and speak to a business IT specialist.