Yesterday in part 1 of this tip, we talked about some common email mistakes that can land you (and government officials) in hot water.  Today we’ll check out more steps to keep your information secure.

Log out of your email when you’re done

Particularly if you’re using a public computer, such as in a library or a hotel lobby, make sure that you sign out when you’ve finished. Many email sites do not log you out automatically when you close the tab on your internet browser, and some people do not realize that if you haven’t logged out, the next person to use the computer could have access to your entire account. Just one or two clicks could save you a lot of trouble later on.

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Stay alert for phishing scams

Often, rather than trying to figure out how to access your data, cybercriminals will try to trick you into just giving it to them yourself.

 

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Scammers use a variety of different tactics to get you to give them this information, whether it’s clicking on a link that will send you to a compromised site or download malware onto your machine, or posing as a company with whom you legitimately do business and getting you to send them your login information to “prove” that you’re not a scammer yourself. Blue Coat suggests several practices to follow in order to protect yourself from phishing attempts, such as avoiding clicking on any links within emails and instead visiting the website directly., as well as keeping an eye on your account activity, keeping track of your credit activity, and installing endpoint security software and keeping it up to date.

Know and Obey The Rules

Many companies, governmental departments, and healthcare facilities have specific rules about what type of information can be transmitted in private emails. There may be procedures in place to make sure certain types of information remains encrypted when transmitted or you may be forbidden from including certain types of private or classified information in emails or from taking your work computer or files home.

You need to be aware of both governmental rules and company rules for how information is handled. And you need to follow the rules. Sometimes that could mean not sharing your password with a coworker so they can log onto the network or not doing work at home, no matter how much more convenient it would be. If you are unclear about what a rule means, ask someone in charge to clarify it for you.

~ Carol Evenson