Email communication has always had a reputation for not being a secure means to send important and confidential messages. It’s like the focus has been on prompt deliverability and not much else. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to make your emails more safe and secure.
Here are five ways you can secure your email communication:
SMTPS or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Secure had used port 465 before to secure SMTP through a TLS connection. This establishes a safe exchange of emails between the client and the server over SSL/TLS channels.
Typically, there are two approaches to this: forced TLS and opportunistic or explicit TLS. For forced TLS, either the email client and the server can negotiate an encryption version that they can support, or else the transmission of the message would fail. On the other hand, an explicit TLS makes use of a secure TLS encrypted channel that utilizes the STARTTLS SMTP command, which means if the attempt fails, the transmission continues but in plain text and without the use of any encryption.
Since a new service was assigned to 465 in 1998, port 25 was then used as the default SMTP relaying port. However, it should be port 587 with TLS encryption that should be used for message submission.
If you are wondering what these are, IMAP stands for Internet Access Message Protocol, and POP3 is Post Office Protocol 3. Generally, they are involved with retrieving the message from the server that receives them. Clients like Outlook use these protocols when they fetch your emails from the mail servers. IMAP is responsible for syncing all the messages across your devices while POP3 downloads it onto a single machine to make it available offline before it’s deleted from the server.
A note from the authors of RFC 5321 says SMTP is innately insecure. As such, you must use end-to-end encryptions standards such as PGP to encrypt emails on the sender’s device and while on transit. Ultimately, this ensures that if the message gets into an attacker’s hand, all they’d see is a message that makes no sense. You may also use an S/MIME certificate to enable you to add digital signatures to verify and validate the message.
Are you constantly receiving junk and spam messages from sources of marketing pitches? You can block them on your email server by simply using DNS blacklists. You can find options on Google, but you have to be extra careful in choosing a tool as they’re not without controversies as well.
You can’t afford to be an open relay that will allow spammers from any country in the world to use your resources and your server to spam other people. By using mail relay parameters, you can control which domains your server can forward mail to. You can also change the options to your liking but do it carefully lest you get on a blacklist.
Aside from the ones mentioned above and in the first part of this article, you can take extra precautions like limiting the number of connections allowed on your SMTP server. You can also improve availability by having a failover configuration when you are listing MX records. Lastly, you can activate reverse DNS lookup that will automatically block an email if there’s an authentication fail.
It is unfortunate that there are still attackers out there who take advantage of people’s vulnerability during these challenging times, and email security remains questionable to this day. The only consolation we have is that these can be combated by training every employee and making sure they are aware of potential threats.
Also, try software that you can use and install directly on your mail server to protect all the domains and users on that particular server. There are a couple offered by your trusted web hosting partner that you can take advantage of.
If you are looking for email security software that has been proven to work, I/O Zoom can provide you with one. Aside from providing you with secure VPS, our Spam Experts Email Filtering and MagicSpam Spam Protection can ensure that no spam, malware, or virus ever reaches your inbox. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our solution!