Watch for Chinks in the Armor

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-12-09 Print this article Print


6. There can be no chinks in the armor

If just one person at an organization doesn't engage in safe security policies, e-mails, sensitive client information and other data can easily slip out. And the worst part is, it won't be just that single employee's information leaving the confines of the company. With a chink in that security armor, companies will have a significantly increased likelihood of facing stolen data across the operation.

7. Trust doesn't play well with e-mail

Users cannot trust much when it comes to e-mail. Sure, there might be a nice e-mail in the inbox from a family member requesting information, but immediately trusting that that family member sent the e-mail is not smart. Every e-mail opened and every e-mail responded to should be vetted to ensure that the content is true and free from security issues. It's not an easy task, for sure, but blindly trusting the content of an e-mail quickly leads to security problems.

8. Remember the anti-malware

It's also important for e-mail users to use anti-malware software. If and when security issues arise on a user's PC, all kinds of bad things can follow. Some outbreaks specifically target e-mail accounts in the hope that sensitive information can be "phoned home" to the malicious user's server. With the help of anti-malware software, some of those problems can be caught before they wreak havoc. Once again, it's not a guaranteed solution, but it will help.

9. Companies need an e-mail policy

In the enterprise, it's extremely important for companies to have a thorough e-mail security policy. Employees should know what is in that policy, and they should follow every last bit of it. If they don't, they need to be held accountable. E-mail is a hotbed for security issues. If a company isn't adequately prepared to confront those issues, sensitive information both in e-mail and on the PC could leak out.

10. Plan for the worst

As bad as it may sound, it's important for users to think about the worst-case scenario and plan for that to happen. E-mail is one of the best ways for malicious hackers to access sensitive information. With a disaster plan in place, companies and individuals will know how to respond to issues if and when they arise. And with a proper understanding of e-mail security and a desire to keep information safe, many of the problems that the climate scientists faced can be eliminated. It just takes time. And a plan.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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