The easiest way a hacker can get access to your network is by sending an email to any of your employees and getting them to open the attachments or click a link. Once they click them, your system is compromised—data is stolen, information is encrypted, etc. With that in mind, educating your employees about how attackers carry out their mission is one of the most effective ways to keep your business safe from cybercriminals. 

Here are five things to teach your employees about working with emails to make sure they’re only dealing with legitimate emails:

1. Check the Sender

More often than not, a suspicious email will be sent by somebody that the employee does not recognize. In any case, if the employee doesn’t know who the sender is, they should not click the email. Delete it right away! 

2. Look For Real Names

Look around in the email and see if there are any names addressed in the content. Depending on what type of email was sent, the employee should have an idea about how he or she should be addressed. 

If a bank sent the email, the employee’s name should be entirely written. If it starts and just ends with “Dear user” or something similar, the employee should be suspicious. If it is an email that’s made to sound like one sent from a friend but addresses the employee in a full name when he or she knows the friend doesn’t normally do, then it is most likely a fake.

3. Read the Subject

It is normal for employees to be so busy, they forget to check the subject line. However, this is where most of the fake emails are easily recognizable. If the subject line doesn’t make sense or sounds suspicious, the employee should be cautious. If the title is asking for a username and password or other types of sensitive information, it should be avoided entirely.

4. Read the Content

Although the subject line might sound reasonable, the employee must read the content very carefully. More often than not, a forged email has spelling and grammatical mistakes. Poor use of punctuation, wrong dates, words that don’t make sense together—all these signs can give away an email sent by a hacker.

5. Check the Included Link

If an email includes a website link, always hover the cursor over it first before clicking it. When done so, the address to the website will pop up. Here, employees should check for certain signals for a legitimate website. First off, it should start with the proper “HTTPS,” followed by the rest of the address. Https is a good sign showing that the website is secure and safe to visit.

By educating your employees about the possible ways cybercriminals attack and what signs they should be looking for, you give your business one of the best lines of defence. The more you train them, the more of a habit it will become, always taking precautions when dealing with emails (and anything else) from an outside source. 

Moreover, don’t worry about investing time and money into teaching your employees. Remember, you’re saving yourself money and headache having to fix the problem that could’ve been easily prevented.

If you’re looking for IT support services in Barnsley to you secure your IT infrastructure. Get in touch with Stephensons IT Support Solutions – we’re happy to help.