The dangers of employees using personal email on a work device
The decision to mix personal and work email: should you do it?
You and your employees spend about a third of your day at work. Frankly, that’s probably a conservative estimate. Most of us don’t sign off the second the clock hits five. Sometimes the lines between our work and personal lives blur. This blur can be the cause of serious cybersecurity issues.
You try your best to run a tight ship and make sure everybody follows cybersecurity best practices. Despite your best efforts, you’re still going to have some non-compliant employees.
When they get an urgent personal email, are they really going to pull out a different device and check it? It’s a lot easier just to check on your company device, right?
Reasons why you should never use your personal email on a work device
Everybody probably thinks the same when they open personal emails on a work device, “oh, it’ll be fine. I know I’m not a target.” Luckily, most days, they are right.
The reason to avoid opening personal emails on a work device isn’t that you’re constantly getting hacked. It’s because we never know when a cyber attack might happen.
It’s bad enough if your employees get hit by a cyber attack, but the effects will double if the hackers have access to both your employee’s personal information and your company’s information on top of that.
What risks do your employees expose themselves to?
Employees are exposing themselves and your company to several risks by opening a personal email on a company device. Perhaps the most common are phishing, spear phishing, and various kinds of malware.
Phishing emails are general attempts to trick people into exposing personal information. You have probably seen emails that said, “type in your phone number to see if you qualify for a free iPhone.”
Spear phishing emails are like the previous example but are more targeted. For example, someone launching a spearfishing campaign might specifically target you based on the company that you work for. You could receive a fake email from HR that says something like, “employees from company X, please respond to this email with your social security number.”
There are various types of malware, including spyware and ransomware. These are all different kinds of software that cyber criminals want you to download onto your computer unwittingly. Once you’ve downloaded malware, the hackers could hold your information hostage until you’ve paid a ransom, or they could steal whatever information they want and sell it on the dark web.
This has been just a glimpse of things that could go awry if you open the wrong email from the wrong person at the wrong time. When using a company device, make sure it’s only for work-related activities. By this point, it’s clear that you would rather be safe than sorry.
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