Top 8 Email Registration Best Practices

Email registration best practices help users through the process of creating and managing email accounts in a secure manner. When it comes to sharing sensitive information, email communication has established itself as the preferred way of contact. Email is used by both individuals and businesses to communicate with consumers, family members, and business partners. Email messaging is extremely beneficial to a company’s operations. Spending $1 on email accounts results in a return of $38, a stunning 3800 percent return on investment.

If users are in charge of a company’s inbox or just use email for personal communication, they are certain to come across sensitive information that must be protected to the greatest extent possible. When registering for and using an email account, it is critical to use suitable security measures to protect the account.

Statistics on the use of email and its security
Email communication is one of the most reliable and effective methods of sending sensitive information since it is both old and reliable. To promote connectivity and information sharing, it has become standard practice for businesses to offer staff fresh email accounts.

The following email usage statistics highlight the importance of sticking to optimal practices when it comes to email registration.

More than 3.9 billion people use email technologies daily, with the number of users likely to reach 4.3 billion by 2023, according to the International Telecommunication Union.
By the end of 2019, the total number of active email accounts has surpassed 5.6 billion.
The majority of businesses and marketers prefer to communicate with customers via email, with the majority sending an average of 3-5 emails each week to their customers.
Between 2019 and 2020, more than 78 percent of organizations have seen a rise in email engagement, according to a survey.
In the year 2019, the United States spent more than $350 million on email marketing.
As a result of these and other data, email has emerged as one of the most widely utilized communication tools on the planet.

Email Usage and Security Statistics

Email engagements will continue to grow, although there may be some security problems as a result of this. To determine the most appropriate security measures to take when registering an email account, you must understand the present state of the email security environment.

In today’s world, phishing is a regular and widespread email security problem: Following the release of the Verizon 2020 Data Investigations Report, the business discovered that phishing was implicated in nearly a quarter of company data breaches in 2019. The survey also finds that email is the most common method of sending phishing software, which results in data breaches, network disruptions, and other consequences for organizations.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of phishing emails has increased: Between February and May 2020, phishing attempts increased dramatically, with certain locations experiencing a 600 percent increase in instances as compared to the previous year. Many fraudsters used the coronavirus pandemic issue as bait to deceive email recipients into clicking on malicious web links and files, which resulted in widespread data theft.
Cybercriminals have mastered the technique of convincing email recipients to click on a link: In research conducted in the United Kingdom, nine phishing emails were sent to 62,000 corporate email users. The study’s findings revealed that 24,758 individuals clicked on the links and documents linked to the emails because the emails provided authority cues, such as a sense of impending doom. To increase their success rates, hackers are always developing new methods of doing so, raising the necessity for best practices in email registration.
The incidence of credential theft and account takeover continues to rise: Theft of credentials and account takeovers are becoming more common. It is difficult to identify and stop the attack vectors, which is a security risk for individual email users as well as corporate employees and managers. According to the findings of a recent study on email security trends and threat vectors, phishing techniques are widely used. Crooks impersonating other suppliers or colleagues in attempted phishing assaults were reported by 48.7 percent of the survey participants. According to the findings of the study, 42.4 percent of respondents have encountered brand impersonations of firms such as DocuSign, Google, and Microsoft. 33.6 percent of the IT professionals who were involved said they mitigated email-based attacks daily.

Common email security risks

An email has dominated online communication for many years as a result of a growing need for internet-based communication. However, it is a major security risk because traditional security measures such as antivirus solutions are ineffective in blocking email threats. As a result, businesses of all sizes, as well as individual users, must determine the most effective methods for assuring secure email communication. An email security breach can cause significant damage to a company’s and its customers’ reputations, as well as the loss of critical information. When registering for an email account, email users should be aware of the dangers that may be involved:

Domain squatting is a security concern that occurs when malicious cyber actors purchase or sell a domain name to profit from the usage of another person’s brand. Therefore, both individual email users and businesses can become the targets of targeted phishing attempts and domain squatting schemes.
Email security flaws include the following: The identification and correction of holes in email service provider configurations can aid in the prevention of cyberattacks. Hackers can take advantage of email service weaknesses to access a secured network system and steal sensitive information.
Client-side attacks: The number of attack vectors that hackers might exploit to compromise internet users continues to grow daily. An organization’s network and systems can be brought down as a result of a single click on a malicious link, to name just one example. Client-side assaults are particularly harmful since they prey on a user’s inexperience and ignorance. Businesses must improve the security of their email service components through employee training and the use of anti-phishing software solutions.
Configuration errors: Inadequate configuration methods are frequently the source of major and unfavorable situations, which can lead to a communication crisis. For example, a poorly set up email service may allow users to send email messages without first authenticating themselves. Cyber adversaries can take advantage of the flaw and send phishing emails to random employees, as well as engage in other malicious activities such as identity theft, among others.

  1. Implement multi-factor authentication

Attacks on files with certain file formats: File-format exploits are one of the most serious dangers to a company’s information security strategy. Hackers take advantage of flaws in software by distributing malicious files that have been carefully crafted. In web applications, the files cause buffer overflows, which are similar to the files. The vulnerabilities are frightening since the majority of them are cross-platform and have the potential to compromise many systems, apps, and operating systems at the same time.
Fraudulent payment: Cybercriminals create scams such as business email compromises to mimic executives and high-ranking people, such as CEOs, to boost their chances of success. Many employees fall prey to fraud because the emails appear to be real and to come from a high-ranking official. Numerous personnel in important roles, such as finance or procurement, have fallen victim to email scams and made fraudulent payments as a result of these frauds.
Best practices for email registration are recommended.

  1. Create an easy to remember but hard to guess password

Multi-factor authentication is effective in the fight against cybercrime. Authentication is enabled for email users every time they connect to their accounts, allowing them to prove their identity. Multi-factor authentication is a security scheme in which an email user is required to provide multiple authentication items to prove that they are who they claim to be. The objects can be in the form of an application, a verification code, or biometrics that are only accessible to authorized individuals. Email service providers implement the authentication scheme, but most of them have it turned off by default. Users must enable the option to prevent any of the security threats outlined above from occurring. The second step that should be taken immediately following the completion of an email registration activity is to enable multi-factor authentication.

  1. Avoid using public wi-fi networks for email communication.

In the field of cybersecurity, there is a widespread belief that passwords are the first line of defense. A weak and easy-to-crack password indicates that the first barrier of defense is ineffective and cannot survive aggressive intrusion attempts such as brute-force and dictionary attacks. In the past, people would make up passwords like qwertyuiop123 or use personal information to protect their accounts. Motivated malevolent hackers can exploit personal information that is publicly available on many social media platforms to decrypt a user’s password if they are allowed to do so.

When creating a password, several email providers ask new users to include an additional unique symbol or a combination of lowercase and capital letters; nonetheless, it is the users’ obligation to ensure that the passwords are difficult to guess. When users use a password manager to safeguard passwords that are used for many accounts, they are more likely to remember the proper password.

  1. Utilize the spam filter feature

It is possible to avoid email security threats in some circumstances. For example, email users can keep their accounts safe by only sending important information over trustworthy and secure networks, rather than across the internet. When you use email services while connected to a public wi-fi network, you put the information you disclose over email at the mercy of cybercriminals. Attackers can easily intercept all user communications or install malware on a network that harvests email messages in real-time, depending on the situation. Because of this, when creating an email account, it is critical to use secure wi-fi networks to send information. The use of free internet connectivity in airports, coffee shops, and other public areas is one of the best practices since it allows you to avoid checking for new email messages.

  1. Prohibit the use of personal emails for business use

Spam prevention is built into several email platforms, including Office 365 and Google’s Gmail service, and is available for purchase. It is more common than not that when registering for an email address, users neglect to turn on the function and configure it accordingly. User-customizable spam prevention allows users to prevent spam emails from reaching their inbox by preventing emails from specified senders or those that include specific terms. Aside from that, it’s important to recognize and flag as spam any unknown email addresses that send questionable email messages, links, or attachments. When it comes to protecting email users against phishing attacks and other social engineering frauds, spam protection is vital to have in place.

Personal emails should not be used for work purposes, according to the policy.
When setting up a new email account for a new employee, system administrators must ensure that the employee is aware of the risks associated with utilizing personal email accounts for work-related purposes. It is nearly impossible to monitor personal emails using corporate security infrastructure, resulting in the emergence of new cybersecurity concerns.

Personal email accounts are more vulnerable to being targeted and breached than corporate email accounts because most contain the provider’s security settings. Furthermore, users utilize their email accounts to subscribe to a variety of websites and contact a large number of people. Although company email accounts are less safe than personal email accounts, most businesses have sophisticated email security systems in place that monitor and scan incoming messages for hazardous links and attachments. The use of personal accounts by employees when enrolling for a new email account must be strictly prohibited by employers.

  1. Learn to identify phishing emails

Phishing attempts are particularly dangerous for new email users. Phishing techniques, on the other hand, are among the most ancient and extensively utilized means of hacking emails. New email users must be aware of what phishing is, how to recognize and report a phishing email, and the dangers of opening a phishing email. Phishing is a type of internet scam in which scammers appear as legitimate individuals or businesses to earn and exploit their victims’ confidence.

The majority of phishing emails are sent from well-known businesses, and the attackers carefully build them to look like the original firms. They employ the same themes, layout, and embedded graphics to improve their success rates. However, some indicators might help consumers determine whether or not an email is a phishing email. Poor spelling, robot-like writing techniques, and inappropriate use of language are just a few examples. Further to this, new email users should keep an eye peeled for the following phishing techniques:

Phishing is a technique in which hackers utilize a target’s personal information to earn the victim’s confidence and boost the success rate of the attack.
Phishing using deception: the scammer sends email communications that appear to be from a reputable company to acquire the trust of the victim.
Whaling is a sort of phishing attack that targets top executives, such as CEOs, to infiltrate an organization from the highest layer down to the lowest level.
A phishing method that is exceedingly difficult to detect is Dropbox/Google Drive phishing. This is a phishing strategy that is incredibly difficult to detect. Users’ cloud folder login requests and pages containing their login information are duplicated when using this strategy. Hackers that gain access to sensitive information typically gain access to a vast amount of information.

  1. Ensure that the encrypted communications protocol is turned on

Email exchanges are inherently insecure because they are transmitted over an unencrypted Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Consequently, an email message delivered through an SMTP relay server may pass through numerous SMTP relay servers before reaching its intended recipient. Because the messages are not encrypted, the content of the messages may be compromised if they pass through a hostile relay server, which is possible. TLS (Transport Level Security) is used to encrypt all email messages and protect them from being read by unauthorized individuals.

  1. Be cautious when clicking the unsubscribe link.

Even though spam prevention is critical in keeping spam emails out of consumers’ inboxes, some spam emails nevertheless manage to find their way in. When faced with such a situation, suspicious individuals may be inclined to click on the unsubscribe button to avoid receiving any further emails. Hackers, on the other hand, are increasingly employing unsubscribe links to drive email recipients to a phishing website. In addition, the link may offer attackers backdoor access to the network or system over which they are communicating. New email users must be made aware of the existence of such emails and the existence of unsubscribe links.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.