The Risks With Using Email For Business

Email is an incredibly useful tool for businesses dealing with basic information. However, using email to communicate with customers and other businesses can pose a serious risk for your  business if you don't take the proper precautions.

Because of the risks inherent in unencrypted email communications for hackers and identify  thieves, businesses are warned to properly encrypt email documents. These are just a few of the risks businesses face when it comes to using email.

The Virus Risk
While this mostly results from employees opening emails and email attachments or visiting unfriendly links in emails on office computers, the risk it poses to not only business computers and networks but also to client information, identifying information of employees, and confidential information concerning your business is potentially catastrophic.

Hacker Entry Points
The other problem with unencrypted email communication for large and small businesses alike is that it gives hackers an entry point. All they need is an entry point into your network from, which they can then launch all manner of attacks from simply stealing information to launching SPAM campaigns from your company computers that damage your reputation to deleting critical information from your business mainframe.

Trojans in Your Midst
These attacks are quick, unexpected, and brutal, just like the ancient attack on the city of Troy. Trojans are executable files that cause devastation in their wake and all it takes is for someone in your organization to click on the wrong email link.

Reputation Management
SPAM campaigns originating from your email system are bad enough, but people can manipulate your email to release client information, employee information, to send out political  statements, and so much more that can harm your public image and crush your bottom line.

Litigation Potential
Depending on the type of information revealed in through unsecured email communications, you could be placing your small business at an increased risk for litigation - especially in fields that deal with financial services, medical information, insurance, medical care, legal information and representation, accounting, investments, and more.

Releasing Information to Wrong Person
It happens all the time. Whether accidental or intentional (when employees are deliberately trying to harm the financial solvency or reputation of the business) employees send sensitive information to the wrong recipient. It's such a simple mistake to make and one that can be so  devastating for the business. Think about it. What if an employee sent out medical records or  client lists to someone on their list of contacts that isn't within your organization?

Mitigating Your Risks
That's why it's important for all businesses to take steps now to limit their exposure to risks resulting from email communication. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Establish strict email policies.
  • Put those policies in writing.
  • Limit email communications whenever possible.
  • Only send emails to necessary recipients.
  • Exercise caution when using carbon copies and blind carbon copies.
  • Create a confidentiality notice that should be attached to all emails sent from business
  • Email channels.

These steps do not absolve businesses of the responsibility of something going wrong with  emails, but it can help limit some of the risks associated with email communications. The best practice is to use email as sparingly as possible for the purpose of sensitive business  communications, particularly if the email is unencrypted.

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