Best Practices for Business and Personal Email
As several of you may have experienced, the IGRC email system has been under attack recently and it has affected the entire system.
Staff has been working feverishly to contain and eliminate the problem, but is has affected the entire system. Of the 1,050 email addresses in the IGRC domain, five of them were compromised through a variety of phishing schemes and the addresses were then used to send out roughly 50,000 emails per minute. When those addresses are identified as spamming, the entire IGRC domain is affected, which result in bounced or blocked emails.
We are in the final stages of automating a process which previously have been handled by our IT manager so that we can keep on top of the problem. We believe the problem has been resolved, but I asked our IT manager Mike Hembrough to collaborate with me in developing a list of best practices to consider when using email for business and personal uses. In the case of the five, the IGRC email addresses were being used for personal email as well as for church-related activities:
- Use business email for business communications
- Business emails should not contain ‘pretty backgrounds’ ‘animated butterflies’ ‘fancy color signatures’ etc.
- Signing up for prayer of the day, joke of the day, JCPenney newsletter, Macy coupons etc. are not business uses
- Get a freebie account for personal use – it can be deleted when compromised or when it starts getting too much SPAM
- Free providers (AOL, MSN, Gmail, Live, Juno, Yahoo, etc.) own your email and all information in your messages
- Nothing is free on the internet; The cost you pay is information, the more value on "free," the more personal the information the better
- Never ever open a file attached in an email - save the file first. Your anti-virus protection will be able to scan it and block it
- Never ever click a link in an email - copy it and paste into a browser
- If you have any doubt about an email delete it immediately without hesitation, it only takes one to infect your machine
- Don’t send, respond or forward chain emails
- Don’t send, respond or forward virus warnings
- Don’t send, respond or forward someone else’s personal information
- If you subscribed to an email list you are responsible to unsubscribe yourself, don’t report the list as SPAM because you don’t want to receive the messages anymore
- If you are not using and updating anti-malware, anti-spyware and anti-virus software please turn your PC off and leave it off or disconnect it from the internet permanently
- Typing a message with all caps is yelling, all lowercase is whispering
These are good practices to keep in mind and because it does affect us all, it is important to remember our responsibility to the larger IGRC community.