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10 Essential Email Security Guide for Email Marketers

10-Essential-Email-Security-Guide-for-Email-Marketers
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10 Essential Email Security Guide for Email Marketers

Email marketing is a marketing technique that is here to stay. It is an efficient method of maintaining communication with new and old customers. Not only that, a reader may subscribe to your email newsletter to view your products or services, discount offers, and sales and later become a customer.

In 2021, 41.5% of brands said email marketing was extremely important to their company’s performance, according to Litmus. Therefore, email marketing is necessary if you want your firm to expand.

However, there are email marketing threats, which makes it necessary to know the best email security practices your marketing team should use. However, there are things you should be aware of before looking at email security best practices.

What is the Global Impact of Email Fraud?

Not only have email marketing threats been on the increase, but also it has led to a bad global impact. Both large and small businesses have suffered great losses because of email fraud. Most hackers who gain access to businesses have caused intellectual property loss, business corruption, and loss of investors’ confidence in the businesses they have attacked.

Additionally, it has led to global financial loss for businesses and customers. Businesses falling victim to email fraud have suffered reputational damage and other losses, making it important to use email security best practices and best email security software to guard against email fraud.

What is email security?

Email security refers to the techniques and practices used to safeguard email accounts, communication, and content from unauthorized access to hackers or third parties, data loss, and other harmful threats.

Why is email security important today?

Email security best practices are important because hackers use emails as the easiest and most common method for spreading malware, including ransomware, spyware, worms, and different types of malware, as well as social engineering scams like phishing and spear phishing emails.

There is an increase in email marketing threats because hackers trying to break into a corporate network and steal sensitive information like personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), or intellectual turlock property management, use emails to perpetuate that.

Some Common Threats in Email Marketing 

There are various email marketing threats, but the most common ones are:

Spam

It is described as a bulk unsolicited email. Email spam occasionally contains links that download malicious files.

Phishing

It is spam, sent to trick recipients into giving out sensitive and valuable information. Phishing and the use of malicious links are often deployed here. Before clicking on a link sent, ensure that there is a padlock sign and that the URL starts with HTTPS. These signs show an SSL certificate on the site, which means it, is secure.

Malware

To infect one or more devices, cybercriminals use harmful malware that they disseminate through email.

Spoofing

Spoofing is a subsection of phishing as users are duped into believing the communication is coming from someone or something they know and can trust, which makes it easier for the victims to act on the information sent via email.

Botnet Messages

It is a technique for spreading malware across a network of computers. The “bot-header,” its only attacking party, is under its control. It is used to hack into the device and its connection, steal data, send spam, and launch attacks.

BEC (Business Email Compromise)

With this technique, the hacker acquires access to a company email account and assumes the account holder’s identity. 

Essential Email Security Guide for Email Marketers

1. Encrypt marketing emails

Adding extra layers of protection is one of the best email security practices you can use to prevent unauthorized access by hackers. Encryption of marketing emails is possible when transmitting the email to recipients.

With encryption, it is easy to know the email’s sender, but gaining access to open the email will be tricky because of the encryption. In addition, encrypting all the data in an email is another way to curtail email marketing threats. The key component of this method is that the recipient decrypts the communication after the sender has encrypted it. 

2. Use email security software

Email security software helps in securing email marketing campaigns. To successfully secure emails, you must invest in the appropriate software if your ISP is prone to hacking and other exposures; otherwise, you risk endangering your business’s and your customer’s security.

Leveraging cloud email security strategies is crucial in safeguarding email communications and aligns with the broader recommendation to embrace cloud-based solutions for superior defense against evolving email threats

Some of the best email security software you can use are:

  • Trustifi
  • Avanan cloud security platform
  • Perch security
  • AVG internet security business edition

3. Use 2-factor Authentication

The third email security best practice that should be used in email marketing is 2-factor authentication. Before signing in, a recipient or user has to enter two pieces of identifying information. This makes it difficult for hackers to access an account even if they know the password. These 2-factor authentications could be a password and a One Time Password (OTP).

The use of 2-Factor authentication is simple and cost-free. It takes making a few minor adjustments manually to your account’s password management settings to enable it.

4. Update the devices you use to login

Since remote work has become more common, many employees are encouraged to work on their devices and access their company email accounts using those devices. However, it is challenging for businesses to track the personal devices of their employees, which poses a serious email marketing threat.

Employees may have malware on their devices, which could expose their login information and lead to the leakage and subsequent access of their data. Therefore, for email security best practices, employees are often advised that the computer they use to log in is up to date and that they regularly perform antivirus scans to check for malware.

These device and software updates are important. The majority of updates fix security flaws that were found while performing the update. Furthermore, it will eliminate or fix computer bugs, which is the developers’ intent. 

5. Only use trusted Wi-Fi networks.

Most employees use public Wi-Fi networks, which is an email marketing threat. It may be convenient initially, but it has great disadvantages. Hackers easily steal data and gain access to information through public Wi-Fi, which puts employees, customers, and businesses’ data at risk. Therefore, use only trusted Wi-Fi networks to prevent hackers from gaining email access.

6. Have email authentication standards

For email security best practices, you should concentrate on email authentication requirements using transactional emails or curated content emails. These standards allow you control over who is attempting to gain access to your domain and how it is used. As a result, email authentication standards protect you from falling for phishing, spoofing, and spam attacks.

Some email authentication standards you can use are:

  • Domain Keys Identified Mail.
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance.
  • Sender Policy Framework.

7. Consider a Few authentication protocols that can be helpful 

  • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM)

It helps prevent your email from being seen as spam by your recipients. It also reduces the possibility of hackers using your email to spam people.

  •  DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance)

Doing this ensures that only valid emails are authenticated by the established DKIM and SPF standards. With layered email security procedures, all fraudulent activity from domains within the business’s control is permanently stopped before it reaches the customer’s inbox.

  •  Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Businesses can check the access to email security and know the right to access it and a permissible person. When an email is sent or received with a secure email gateway, it lists the authorized sender’s IP address in a record. The email fails SPF authentication if the IP address sending emails for the business is not specified in that SPF record.

8. Secure the email gateway and create backups of critical files

Utilizing an email gateway enables you to scan and process each email you send or receive, which helps to prevent spam from entering. It is one of the best email security best practices because all email traffic is authenticated using a multi-layered technique.

Physical hardware, a virtual appliance, or the cloud can all be used to build a secure email gateway. However, your choice of email server determines this. It could be an on-premises email server like Exchange or a cloud-based email server like Microsoft Office 365.

Since choosing a secure email gateway is an important decision, you should take into account the following:

  • Options for deployment are available for you.
  • How it effectively checks spam.
  • It is efficient in detecting malware.
  • Threat analysis and outbound content monitoring

Additionally, in case of hackers attack your system or data, it is wise to have backups of all files. It is preferable to store these backups on a hard drive like a USB. The backups should be in several copies and at different locations. The reason is that assuming a device or data is attacked by ransomware, even the backups get affected.

9. Invest In Secure Providers

Every aspect of your outgoing email campaigns must be protected because your company’s future finances are in danger if your Internet Service Providers (ISP) are prone to hacking or other issues. Most hackers on the dark web sell people’s data to make money, and you do not want your business or customers to fall victim to that.

So, trust secure providers like WordPress, Wix, Hostgator, Bluehost, and Weebly to keep your data safe. Preferably, choose their paid or premium plan.

10. Raise Awareness

Businesses that sell products and services to people should not act as though email marketing threats are not prevalent. Refusing to acknowledge that there are hackers gives the impression that your business does not care. Creating awareness about email security threats can be done through email newsletters, blogs, and FAQ sections. Your clients should know the red flags that show that hackers want to gain access to their data and aim to give relevant and crucial information to create awareness. This is an effective email security best practice.

Conclusion

Many businesses ignore crucial email security best practices when using email marketing, which provides leeway for important data access by hackers. Following these email security best practices, you can avoid security lapses, safeguard your client’s information, and prevent reputational damage.