The first email ever created was sent by Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer, in 1971. It was a simple test of sending this “electronic mail” from one computer to another in the same office in Cambridge, MA. This experimental email was sent via ARPANET, which was the precursor to what we now know as the Internet. If you are wondering what awesome message it contained, try to control your excitement. It was the equivalent of just blindly typing on the keyboard. And the highest scoring Scrabble word “QWERTYUIOP” was born!
There was a time, not too long ago, when email wasn’t just something we looked at in our inbox and decided 80% of it was either unwanted ads or spam-worthy. The way things stand now, our work email takes priority over our home email. Email is still a prime method of communication for all businesses, and that won’t change anytime in the near future. Of course, using email for business purposes means a plethora of issues that are essentially unavoidable with today’s technology. Spam, phishing, and information privacy, are just some of the examples businesses have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Should you bypass workplace emails for personal ones instead? Not exactly, because personal email accounts are equally at risk. Mixing business with personal emails just wont work. The only way to prevent this risk is by using proper precautions and sound practices whenever communicating via email in the office. This way you will minimize the opportunities for security breaches, ransomware viruses, and potential legal trouble.
You obviously never want to open attachments from unsolicited emails. That seems like it’s a given. This needs to be the common knowledge for any type of email usage, whether it be at home or at work. An email from an unknown address with an attachment is the tech version of “stranger danger”. If you receive an email from a known contact and there is an attachment, you still might not want to open it. For all you know, it isn’t that your contact is trying to hack you. They might be the victim of a similar hoax from one of their contacts. You can kind of get a clue from the subject or message body.
The same advice goes for any links sent to your office. If you receive an email that is unexpected and seems fishy to you, then it might be “phishy”. Don’t click on the unknown! It’s possible your contact’s email may have been compromised, the same way mentioned earlier about mystery attachments. If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a received email from a contact, don’t open any of the attachments and don’t click on the links. Reply to them via email, or even better pick up the phone and ask them about what they sent. Being vigilant about your company’s emails is a wise way to ensure it’s cyber security.