Tips: Avoid E-Mail Disasters

Proofpoint offers tips for businesses and employees to protect from data loss mishaps.

E-mail Tips For Businesses

1. Select your filtering solution wisely. Insist on a gateway-based solution that's easy to use, highly accurate, quick to deploy and scalable.

2. Act fast to minimize loss. Implement effective processes will help identify, track and resolve any rogue emails through a variety of options including quarantine, deletion, and re-routing back to the original sender for clarification.

3. Focus on your data. Know the value as there are clear differences between a customer's private information and company sensitive content.

4. Encrypt. Businesses should ensure that they have an enforcement mechanism in place to prevent sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.

5. Review and Audit. Continually review the information leaving your organization and make sure it adheres to your outbound security policies. Educate users and continually assessing effectiveness of the policies, updating where necessary.

E-mail Tips For Employees

1. Expect to be unlucky. Don't rely on luck, take care to follow the company guidelines and do your best to be practical. If you are not sure about the value of information -- ask. It is always better safe than sorry.

2. Manage your e-mail accounts. A good rule of thumb for the average e-mail user is to keep a minimum of three email accounts. Your work account should be used exclusively for work-related conversations. Your second e-mail account should be used for personal conversations and contacts, and your third e-mail account should be used as a general catch-all for less secure interactions e.g. signing up for newsletters, entering online competitions etc.

3. Avoid fraudulent e-mail. Never respond to an e-mail stating that you've won the lottery. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Insure your financial information via e-mail. Banks and online stores provide, almost without exception, a secured section on its Web site where you can input your personal and financial information. The companies do this precisely because e-mail, no matter how well protected, is more easily hacked than well secured sites. Using your credit card wisely insures you against theft and fraud.

5. Look at your policy. There's an old saying that it's better to seek forgiveness than permission. Not in the case of your employer's sensitive information. If in doubt, don't send it. Make sure you are up to date on your employer's e-mail policy, especially when it comes to sensitive or confidential documents.

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