Human Vulnerabilities Can Impact Email Security

An increasing number of cyber-attacks are designed to take advantage of human behavior rather than flaws in hardware or software. Email security remains the primary weak link for most individuals as attackers target our natural curiosity, our desire to be helpful, love of a bargain, or even time constraints. It is important to remain vigilant when checking email, especially those that contain attachments, links, or messages that suggest dire actions if you don’t act. Messages with content related to suspending your account(s), notifying you that your inbox is full, or an alert about a package delivery are all examples of emails in which you may want to apply further scrutiny.

Suspicious emails such as these may prompt users to enter login credentials which hackers used to gain unauthorized access to your email. To mitigate your risk:

  • Evaluate your email privacy settings and if possible, enable multi-factor authentication;
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi when accessing your sensitive information; and
  • Always check the email address of the sender. Many fraudulent emails use brand names like Dropbox and DocuSign to get users to click on malicious links or attachments.

For a more detailed cybersecurity checklist, and to learn more ways to increase email security, refer to the guide on our website.