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St. George’s House
Knoll Road,
Camberley
Surrey
GU15 3SY

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Mercedes Oliveira

graphic designer

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The importance of using a business email account
January 30, 2019

There are many reasons why you should always use a business email account for work, as opposed to your personal email account.

Business specific Email address: Steven@projectfive.co.uk

vs

Personal account address: Steven@gmail.com or Steven@hotmail.com

Professionalism

  • Emailing from a personal Email address looks unprofessional. All large, medium, and even most small businesses send out Email from their own domains.
  • Personal Email accounts are often associated with Spam / Scams. As they are free to use, if they get caught being used for illegal activities, there’s no financial loss for the scammer.
  • Some businesses will outright block Emails from these addresses, or at a minimum, they are more likely to be flagged as Spam.
    Examples
    :

    • @Gmail.com
    • @live.com
    • @hotmail.com
    • @Outlook.com
    • @Yahoo.com / @Yahoo.co.uk
    • @aol.com

Proof you represent your business

  • If your Email service is set up correctly, a recipient’s mail system can confirm that the Email they received was definitely who it says it was from.
  • Emails from projectfive.co.uk can be confirmed to come from the owner of projectfive.co.uk.
  • This extends to colleagues who would contact clients, with the client immediately knowing that they also work with you, based on their Email address having the same domain.
  • If your business doesn’t have a business specific Email domain, there is nothing to stop a 3rd party from creating an Email account that matches your free personal domain, and speaking to your clients masquerading as a staff member.

 

Brand Ownership and Cyber Security Issues

  • With a free service, there is no guarantee of service – the provider could decide they no longer want to service you, they could reuse your Email addresses as they see fit, cutting you off from your clients.
  • In a worst case scenario, you can be exposed to cyber security issues, as they could even start using your email addresses, impersonating your business.
  • Your signage / branding is often tied to your Email Address/ Website. So, if that’s compromised, you would potentially have to consider redoing your branding AND informing your customers they can no longer contact you via the email accounts they are familiar with. This doesn’t look great and will impact your business.
  • The same could happen if the Mail provider goes under, is bought out etc – your Email address goes with them, and there’s no way for you to get it back, because you never owned the domain you were using for your business services, you were just making use of theirs.

 

Staff turnover & Retrieving accounts 

An Email address can always be recreated/retrieved

  • If a staff member no longer works for the business, as long as they were using a business Email account, the business can always get in to their mailbox or recreate it.
  • If they left without passing over the password, an IT admin can reset the password to get back in to the mailbox.
  • If the account had been deleted, but then the email address is required again, an IT admin can create a fresh mailbox with that Email password.

This is vital, because they might have important documents in their email folders which you need access to.

3rd Party Accounts can be recovered

  • If a 3rd party service was registered with a Business email address, a password recovery Email sent to that address from the 3rd party is always a possibility should the password be forgotten, or worse, maliciously changed.
  • Examples of 3rd party accounts where this may be critical:
    • Business’s Facebook
    • Office VOIP Telephone system
    • Software License login

Example 1 – Marketing Accounts:

  • If a personal Email account was used to setup a business’s Facebook account, and the staff member who set it up leaves the business, the ability to get back in to the account should the password be changed or forgotten lies with that staff member.
  • This can be a big issue if the staff member leaves on bad terms and wants to deny the business access to the account, or even ransom it back to the business.

 

Example 2 – Software Registration / License:

  • A staff member enters a personal Email address they received with their home broadband to register a piece of business software they are installing
  • They then move to a new house, which means for them changing broadband provider, they then lose the email address that was provided, with no way to get it back.
  • With the Software Registration Webpage login being forgotten, and the Email address that it was registered with no longer under the businesses control, there is no way to requests a password recovery and the software may need to be repurchased.

 

Your Mailbox Password – Don’t reuse it!

Now that you’ve got a Business Mailbox and Email address, you can at least set the password to the same one you’ve used on multiple different account across the years, right? Wrong!

If you re-use your Email password, multiple times, it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket.

If one of those sites / services gets compromised, then all of your accounts are compromised and open to a cyber-attack.

You may think ‘that’s not a problem, I’ll just change my password when I’m notified of the compromise’ – BUT, you don’t often find out about these security leaks until a long time after – and the damage has already been done.

 

Check if your accounts have ever been compromised…

See this website for a good way to check if any accounts you set up with a specific Email address have been compromised in the past.

If any accounts show up, the password you used for that account is out there in the wild for anyone to lookup!

And these are just the ones we know about.

So, having a password per service, or at the very least per important service is the way to minimise the damage should one of these leaks occur.

 

Password Complexity
Even if you use different passwords for different services, unless you use a strong password, your account can still be compromised via them guessing your password.

Robots can sit and try passwords one-by-one at very quick speeds, so unless your password is long enough, it could be guessed by ‘brute force’.

Every extra character added to the password makes it more and more difficult for them to guess your password!

Weakest: coconuts5

Weaker: COc0nu7$5

Stronger: @BearRageLeafShed65

 

Take a look at our blog post with tips for Choosing a Strong Password.

 

We hope you found this helpful! Remember to take a look at our website for more useful videos and blogs.

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