How to Get Control of Your Email Inbox

Photo of computer screen up close showing email inbox with 179 unread emails

As you read this sentence, think about the current state of your email inbox. Is it clean and crisp with only a handful of new emails on a daily basis, or is it an entangled mess filled with hundreds (or even thousands) of unread and often unimportant emails? If it’s the latter, you’re in luck; we’ve got some tips to help you finally get a grip on your email inbox.

First, we need to start by controlling the level of emails that flow into your email inbox. Let’s discuss some of these methods.

Send Fewer Emails

This is a pretty simple rule; if you cut down on the number of emails you send, you should, in theory, cut down on the number of emails you receive. Generally speaking, email is meant to be used (and is most effective) for tasks that are not immediately pressing. While we understand that this isn’t always possible, even a little action on your part could make a world of difference. If you send one fewer email a day, you can potentially cut out at least one email in your inbox per day.

Depending on the topic, you might be able to use an instant messaging application or a phone in place of the email. These are generally more reserved for immediately pressing tasks rather than the passive nature of an email, but you do cut down on the chance that your email will be lost in the ether.

Unsubscribe from Email Lists

A business owner needs to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in their chosen industry, and doing so might entail subscribing to email lists. These are automated lists that send you emails on a regular basis, and if you don’t keep up with them, it is easy to lose track of how many you have subscribed to. These quickly add up and can often drown out emails that actually are important.

A good rule to follow is that, if you have not opened an email newsletter from a particular organization or website in the past month, it’s safe to say that you are no longer interested in reading their content. Granted, some email newsletters are monthly, but if they are, they shouldn’t be clogging up your inbox. We’re talking about the real offenders that might send you several messages a week (or even a day). Many email newsletters have an Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message, but you should be careful with these; the last thing you want is to walk into a phishing attack.

Archive Whenever Possible

The idea of deleting an important email can paralyze you with inaction. While you could organize your inbox into folders and other segments for management, even this can sometimes create situations where you start to accrue too many messages. The fact that you don’t know what will be important in the next couple of months or years is also a challenge, as you cannot possibly expect to predict the future.

An email archiving system that is backed up and maintained by your organization can resolve these issues. If you have important messages that you need to keep around, you can simply archive them in a system where they can be searched for and pulled out at a later date. Most cloud-based platforms like Office 365’s Outlook or Google Workspace’s Gmail give you this capability.

Schedule Time Every Day

If you are having trouble making a dent in your inbox, you just do whatever you would normally do for a large and daunting task: break it down into more manageable chunks and chip away at it over time. If you delete or archive more emails a day than you receive, you should theoretically be able to clean it up in a respectable amount of time. Devote a short amount of time each morning or afternoon to checking and managing your inbox. You might be surprised by how much this helps in the long run.

Implement Spam Protection and Technology Solutions

AE Technology Group can help your business manage its email and implement great new technology solutions that keep threatening or time-wasting messages out of your inbox. To learn more about how we can help you with spam and email management solutions, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Prioritizing Email Security in 2019 and Beyond

prioritizing email security in 2019 and beyond

The future of tech has brought about dynamic advancements in how we do business. From CRM databases to enhancing interdepartmental collaboration, automation has made it easy to assume we live in a world where the risks of compromised data are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, despite significant improvements to antivirus software and firewalls, email security is still a vulnerability for many companies. As we take a look back at the year in review, there’s much to be learned about protecting sensitive information and data through enhanced email security. AE Technology Group has paired down the highlights of email security in 2019. We’re here to make the goal of zero security breaches in 2020 a reality for our business clients.

Pinpointing the Vulnerability

Identifying the weakest link in your cyber security force is key to understanding and preventing data breaches. Many companies assume hackers will target the lowest echelon of employees first, making large businesses particularly vulnerable to compromised security at a departmental level. According to Mimecast’s 2019 State of Email Security Report, this assumption isn’t entirely correct.

While company wide security training is highly important, hackers tend to target members of the executive team in an effort to get their digital hands on the most valuable data and financial information. Mimecast found that a substantial 31% of executive level personnel sent sensitive data to the wrong person. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the aforementioned statistic, 40% of employees regarded their CEO as the weakest link when it came to cyber security and believed their CEO undervalued the impact of email security.

Assessing the Casualties

Now that we’ve all taken a moment to enjoy some humble pie, it’s time to take a look at the costs of a cyber attack. Of the companies survey, 39% reported data loss with financial data loss following close behind at 29%. 28% reported a decrease in their customer base, with 27% reporting job losses as a result of a large scale breach.

It’s easy to imagine that a data breach has a profound and lasting impact on a company’s reputation. Examining the strategies used to extract data and target vulnerabilities is the first step in preventing damage.

(Cyber) Criminal Minds 

As the realm of business technology grows and becomes more sophisticated every year, hackers are also becoming more advanced. According to our friends at Mimecast, 71% of organizations were victim to email-based malicious activity spread by an infected user in the last year alone. The most common types of fraud included wire transfer requests, requests for confidential data, impersonation of third-party vendors, and malicious email attachments.

Despite the substantial increase in cyber attacks as well as the improved strategies behind such threats, only 25% of companies routinely implement cyber security training for their staff. Of those who did train their employees, 62% included group sessions, 45% included interactive videos, and less than half (44%) were given formal online testing, reference tips, and one-on-one sessions. This means that employees are limited in their opportunities to learn, ask questions, and develop their knowledge of cyber security.

Looking to the Future

The statistics behind cyber crime and the consequences of a data breach can be a grim truth to process. Fortunately for proactive business owners, this information is also a guideline for improvement. 

As we move into 2020, the need to prioritize cyber security for large and small businesses has never been greater. Build a foundation of excellence by implementing comprehensive technology training, robust firewall and antivirus software, and state of the art data storage and disaster recovery programs.

Contact our experts today to learn more about equipping your New York business for the future.

State of Email Security for 2019

state of email security for 2019

Email has been an irreplaceable blessing and a cruel curse to the cybersecurity of business over the years. Email connects the employees as well as the rest of the world. However, because email connects employees to the rest of the world, email has also come to be the largest vulnerability of any organization. In fact, recent studies report that 94% of companies will experience an email-related malicious attack. 

These attacks are generally phishing attacks such as emails requesting money transfers and fraud based attacks such as impersonation of third party vendors. Email is the easiest point of contact for other users, external or internal, to interact with employees and attempt malicious attacks. Reasons for improving email security are endless and companies are looking for solutions to remedy potential vulnerabilities in their systems.

Vulnerabilities are Increasing

The amount of email-based attacks towards a company has consistently seen a rise in recent years. As the world moves further and further along with the use of the internet and emails, this trend isn’t likely to see any change. IT departments are finding it increasingly difficult to protect the company and increase email security. In fact, 61% of businesses believe that they will likely or inevitably suffer an email-borne attack. 

Companies are continuing to promote email safety protocols and educate employees on the proper usage of email. Through these efforts, they hope to minimize security risks and improve vulnerability management. However, while these efforts to increase employee ability to spot cyber attacks have increased, only 25% of companies are providing training to actively increase email security. This training is commonly in the form of group sessions or informative videos. Some companies even go as far as having one on one sessions with employees to ensure that they understand the risk involved in email and that they keep the company safe while using it.

Effects of Attacks on Businesses

Many of these email-borne attacks have had direct effects on the functioning and profits of the organization. Specifically for email-based impersonation attacks, organizations have reported that:

  • 13% lost their position in the market
  • 26% loss of reputation
  • 27% had to cut back on employee numbers
  • 28% lost customers
  • 29% experienced direct financial loss
  • 39% experienced data loss

While 25% reported that they experienced no loss because of an impersonation email attack, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t suffer losses from some other form of attack. The chances are high that they did. 

More to Email Security Than Just Outside Threats

There’s more to email security than simply malicious user attacks. There are also human errors involved. 31% of C-suite level(CFO, CEO, CTO) employees have reported to had sent sensitive data to the wrong person. If this information is incorrectly sent to a fellow employee, the situation may not be so bad. However, if the wrong information is sent outside of the company, there is a chance that the information can be used to harm the company. Roughly 40% of employees at a given organization believes that the CEO undervalues the impact of email security.

C-suite level members of an organization are also the target of most cybercriminals. As C-suite level members often hold valuable information and have authorization to much of the company, cybercriminals highly target these individuals because they can profit the most from them. C-suite level employees, just as much as normal level employees, need to become better educated on email security.

Email security should be one of the many integrated security strategies seriously enforced to protect the company. For more information regarding the state of email security, contact AE Technology Group. We are well-versed in protecting the networks of companies and offer solutions that can prevent cyber disasters and increase vulnerability management including email security.

Microsoft Increases Protection From Junk Email in Office 365

junk email

Considering the extent to which many businesses rely on email, it is not surprising that the growing number of phishing and spoofing emails making it into people’s inboxes has become more of a problem than a nuisance.

Considering Microsoft is one of the largest email providers for commercial users, with over 120 million business users subscribing to Office 365, Microsoft saw an opportunity to provide an additional service to its customer base by enhancing email screening for its Office 365 users.

Here is a quick overview of what users need to know about this latest update.    

The Phishing Dilemma

In a recent blog post, Microsoft explained that phishing scammers who try to obtain sensitive information through email falsification has become a rampant problem.

They claim that businesses are particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks as only 9% of companies in the Fortune 500 have strong email authentication policies, which can leave the majority of businesses vulnerable to having their sensitive information hacked by phishers.

Unless a company’s email filter is able to detect scam email, phishing emails will be delivered to the end user potentially deceiving them.

Microsoft’s Solution

Considering the severity of the threat that phishing attacks can pose to commercial users of Office 365, Microsoft decided that it was time to improve Office 365’s email authentication as they determined that the risk of allowing dangerous emails through was greater than the risk of potentially losing legitimate emails to spam filters.

Previously, this anti-spoofing technology was only available to those organizations that had an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription or to those who had purchased an Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) add-on for their Office 365 subscription.

However, as of October 2018, Microsoft has extended this protection to a wider range of Office 365 subscribers who can now benefit from more secure email screenings.

Contact us to learn more about this change to Office 365 as well as to find out about additional steps your business can take to protect itself from phishing attacks.

Computer Tip of the Day – Using Yahoo Mail for Business

yahoo mail for business
Yahoo Mail for Business

Do you use Yahoo Mail to stay in touch with your friends, acquaintances, or business contacts? Yahoo Mail, although not as popular as Gmail, is still a great method of communication. Here are some useful tips and tricks for using Yahoo Mail.

Delete All Mail At Once

If you want to organize your inbox after not doing so for a while, you may have hundreds of emails to delete. Unfortunately, with Yahoo Mail, you can only select 50 emails at a time. This can be frustrating, but there is a workaround. Just click on the “search” button at the search tab at the top of the page without typing in any search term into the bar. You can choose to search through all of your emails or through emails in a specific inbox. As long as you leave the search bar blank when you click “search,” all emails will appear, not just 50.

Forward Your Mail

What if people send emails to your Yahoo address but you’d rather read them in another email account? Simple: Just forward your mail to that account. Go to Yahoo Mail’s Settings menu and click on Options. Click on your email address and then click on Forward. You can then type in the email address you’d like your Yahoo Mail to be forwarded to (a verification link will be sent to that address).

Create a Mailing List

If you have a number of contacts you want to add to a specific list so that you can send emails to all of them at once, just go to Contacts and click on the Assign to Lists option. Of course, you have to create the list first, which you can do in the Contacts menu. This is useful when you want to send something to several employees at once. 

For more computer and IT help, contact us today.