Email security and privacy awareness course

Email security and privacy course

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Achieving online privacy and security is not an easy feat, so that’s why we created this email security and privacy course to enrich the learning and awareness of our users. For that reason, we made a content-based course by putting together all the important and related aspects of email security and privacy.

The entire course takes around an hour of your reading. We have presented it in a number of short blog posts categorized into three parts. The course itself is easy to understand and you don’t need to be a privacy or security expert to make it work for you. We hope our course will help you in raising the bar of your email data security and privacy!

Set your personal threat profile

We do realize that many people can feel overwhelmed by the number of tips and recommendations put forth. This may make you feel like there’s little hope out there, and that many of the tips are for security experts.

Essentially, it is about finding a good balance between security and convenience. So, you just need to determine yours.

  • Assess the risk you are comfortable with

This will allow you to identify what security measures are relevant to you. For example: do you feel you need to send all your text messages with end-to-end encryption via a specific app?

  • Security precautions can range from easy one-time changes to long-term shifts in habits

Security takes work. Doing nothing is so much easier than doing the work needed to make yourself more secure.

  • Just because you are not at ease with technology does not mean you can ignore security

A good judgement is always needed, but it is worth doing a little internet surfing if there is a term you are not familiar with before ruling something out.

After setting your personal threat profile, you will be in a position to see which advice/tip suits you best.

This email security and privacy course addresses most of the common threat models of end users.

Email privacy and security awareness course: Part 1

Protecting your data is the very first step in securing your digital life, therefore do not hesitate to take action.

Protecting your device is the second and most important step. Therefore, you need to understand that your device is the gateway to your digital life. The more secure it is, the more effective your defense measures will be.

Securing your email account means protecting your online identity since your email address is associated with almost everything you do online.

Following good password habits is a key factor in making all of your online and offline defenses stronger. There certainly are password managers, that do a great job. However, avoiding bad password habits is something that you should do yourself.

Once you drop bad password habits you’ve been making, here are 11 best practices to adopt to ensure your passwords are strong.

  • Social Engineering

Humans are considered as the weakest link in any sort of defense. The thing that make us vulnerable is the tendency to trust someone or something based on certain criteria. This section will briefly go through different kinds of social engineering.

What is Social Engineering? – 6 min read

Social engineering are a group of techniques that cybercriminals use that exploit the human nature and trick people to do something that will weaken their security.

Social Engineering: What is Tailgating? – 2 min read

Tailgating (piggybacking) is a social engineering technique in which one tries to enter an area they are normally not allowed to go in, usually be following someone closely behind.

Social engineering: Quid Pro Quo attacks – 2 min read

Sometimes bad actors can trick you into thinking they are doing you a favor that you need to return. But, no matter if you willingly give them your sensitive data or not, they can always use it to steal money and more data.

Social Engineering: What is baiting? – 2 min read

People like winning prizes. Doesn’t matter if they actually signed up for the game or not. Except that your privacy and security is worth much more than that.

Social Engineering: What is pretexting? – 3 min read

The best lies revolve around a good pretext and hackers know this well enough. That’s why they’ll try to use all kinds of fabricated scenarios to trick you into giving them your data.

Social Engineering: What is Phishing? – 5 min read

In the Q3 2022 there were 1,270,883 phishing attacks. Phishing is getting more and more sophisticated and is the number one threat that email users need to keep an eye on.

Social Engineering: What is Spear Phishing? – 11 min read

If phishing is like casting a wide net and hoping to catch a few small fish, spear phishing is using a harpoon to catch the big fish.

Social Engineering: What is Vishing? – 5 min read

Not every type of phishing uses email. In vishing, for instance, the scammer uses the phone to trick people into giving their personal information. Unfortunately, this scam is most effective with elderly folk, so if you have someone like that at home help them understand that the “nice man” on the other end is only after their money.

Social Engineering: What is Smishing? – 3 min read

Did you know that 95% of texts are read in just 3 minutes after sending? And the average respond is 90 seconds! People often don’t even read or check the message before responding.

Social Engineering: What is Scareware?– 7 min read

You have a virus! Or is it just what the scammers would have you believe?

Social Engineering: What is Shoulder Surfing?– 5 min read

Sometimes, you need to have eyes on the back of your head. Because you can never know who is looking over your shoulder and stealing your information.

Social Engineering: What is Whaling? – 8 min read

Why catch small fish when you can get a lot more from the big kahuna is the logic behind this social engineering attack that targets the companies leaders and bosses.

Tips on how to avoid social engineering schemes – 3 min read

Here are 11 tips to avoid social engineering attacks.

Email privacy and security awareness course: Part 2

Lets now discuss some of the consequences that could occur in case your device or account gets affected with a malware. We’ll also go through the steps that you can take to avoid such a situation.

Another potential consequence of a compromised device or account is ransomware. This post will discuss the related aspects in detail.

The myriad ways we send, receive, store, and use email messages make securing and enhancing email privacy a very difficult problem. This blog post gives you an overview of resulting privacy issues.

Are you in control of your online data? This blogpost gives some steps you can take to improve privacy of your online data.

Email addresses can be forged to look legit. This blogpost gives you tips to spot email spoofing and solutions against it.

Email privacy and security awareness course: Part 3

Do you like isolating your digital workspace? This blogpost give reasons to use a virtual machine or VM from security and privacy stand-point.

We all make mistakes. Here are 7 email security mistakes most people are guilty of that you need to avoid.

Oh no, your email has been hacked! Let’s see what you can do about it.

Useful resources

Taking measures and following good practices are great but they don’t guarantee that your account will never be compromised. This blogpost provides some immediate steps you can take to regain access to your account and prevent future hacking attempts.

At Mailfence, not only do we aim to make our platform more private and secure, we also try to make our users aware of the importance of improving their email security and privacy in general. Following are some of the direct links of Mailfence specific blog posts:

We believe that a secure and private digital world can only be achieved if both the creators and users play their respective parts. We hope that this course will prove useful, while we continue to strive in making your emails more secure and private.

However if you still have some friends/colleagues who would ask why to take such a course, then following comic will suffice.

Email privacy and security

Should you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Reclaim your email privacy.
Create your free and secure email today.
M Salman Nadeem

M Salman Nadeem

Salman works as an Information Security Analyst for Mailfence. His areas of interest include cryptography, security architecture and design, access control, and operations security. You can follow him on LinkedIn @mohammadsalmannadeem.

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