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October CyberSecurity Awareness Month Email Cleanup

CyberSecurity Bulletin

CyberSecurity Awareness Month

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month!

Now let’s get to cleaning that email inbox!

by Brianna Vega on October 23, 2019

October is CyberSecurity awareness month. One of the things that we can do as employees within our organization is to take the time to clean out our Gmail account, Outlook and even our own personal email account. This action is a major step in securing yourself and creating an organized space for emails.


 

First Step: Assess Your Inbox

You use your email everyday so you know what kind of emails you receive daily. You know what email lists you are on. You know what stores send you emails about coupons and daily savings and you know what work emails needed to be viewed daily. If you are using Gmail, an easy way to see how many emails a specific sender is sending you is to use “from:” followed by the name of the company or the email address associated with the sender. This can help you see what kind of messages those senders are emailing you. For example, if you were to search “from: Starbucks” you would see something similar below. A list of emails from Starbucks that include read and unread emails.

I LOVE Starbucks, but receiving this amount of emails is a little excessive and takes up a lot of space that is needed for more important emails. 

Second Step: Hit Unsubscribe!

As you are going through your emails you will find senders that you might not want to receive emails from anymore...like Starbucks for me! You might realize that you are not reading half of the emails being sent to you by this sender so it is just better to prevent those emails from coming into your inbox instead of letting them take up valuable space! At the bottom of these emails there is usually an Unsubscribe button, or you can report the email as spam. 

This step will help you start to reduce the clutter that is delivered to your email account daily.

Third Step: Creating Labels

 If you want to get super organized with your Gmail account you can create labels. These labels act as folders for your emails. If you receive emails you need daily, then create a label called “Daily Email”. If you receive emails that are related to a certain application like Munis or Viewpoint, then create labels “Munis Emails” and “Viewpoint Emails”. You can create these labels by looking at the left side of your Gmail account. In the menu on the left side of the screen where you can see your Inbox, there will be an option called “+ Create New Label”. Click this and start adding your labels!



 

Fourth Step: Start Filtering

You have now created your labels. Next, we can start filtering our emails to get sent to these labels we have set up. So for example, you made a label called “Munis Emails”. If we click the three little dots in the right hand of the email we can get a drop down menu. There is an option to ‘Filter messages like this” in the drop down menu.

Make sure you write the word “Munis” in the Subject field and the Has the words field.

When you click Create Filter you will then choose the “Munis Emails” label in the Apply Label box and choose the Skip Inbox option to have these emails go to the “Munis Emails” label instead of your inbox..

Now, to test this I sent myself an email with the Subject line “Munis” and wrote “Munis” in the email. Once I received the email, it went straight to my Munis Emails Label.

These are just the little steps to take to make a big impact on your inbox. Decluttering your email account will help you become organized, make your workflow more efficient and protect your inbox from unwanted email messages.








 

References: Murphy, D. (2018, April 11). How to Clean Up Your Overwhelmed Gmail Inbox (by Hand). Retrieved from https://lifehacker.com/how-to-clean-your-overwhelmed-gmail-inbox-by-hand-1825114630.

I will be sending out monthly security newsletters. If you ever have a concern or question on best security practices, please feel free to email me at bvega@shrewsburyma.gov

Thank you! 

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