What Can We Learn from Email Database Leaks?

In early March of this year, a MongoDB database consisting of over 800 million email addresses was found unprotected and publicly accessible. Once the owner Verifications.io discovered the leak, the database was taken offline within the same day. The database contained more than just email addresses. Private information such as date of births, IP addresses, revenue figures, interest rates, zip codes, and credit score numbers were accompanied with each address. Fortunately, passwords and Social Security numbers were not revealed. What does this mean for you and your business? If by chance your email was one of the addresses available, it’s an opportunity for scammers to target you. Since so much information was attached to the addresses, phished emails will be able to send personalized content based off your credit score, birthdate, or where you live. Scammers are becoming more and more convincing each day, and it’s up to us to make sure we don’t fall for their tricks. Concurrently, you don’t want your own audience and customers to grow skeptical of your emails.

There are two things you need to do as a business using marketing automation:

       Keep your wits about you when you receive emails to ensure you aren’t frauded.        Authorize your own emails to give potential leads peace of mind. Below is some sound advice for enhancing email security and thwarting scammers.

Copy and Paste URLs

When you receive an email that seems a little fishy (or phishy), the most foolproof action you can take is copy and pasting the URL from the attached hyperlinks into your web browser. Let’s say the email is trying to get you to sign up for Netflix. Instead of using the legitimate Netflix URL, it might be taking you to ‘Netlfix.com’. The difference is barely noticeable, but still not exact. Side-by-side comparisons are the best way to discover dissimilarity.

Call Phone Numbers
If you’re a startup, you might be receiving a lot of government or state documents for the first time. It can be confusing figuring out which ones are legit and which ones are scams. Calling the number listed (but also calling numbers from official web listings that you know are real) is another way to make sure the mail you’re receiving is valid. If the messages from both callers don’t add up, then the email might be fake. If they ask for your SSN or credit card number immediately, this can also be a red flag.

Sign Up with DKIM We recommend you use DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) services to legitimize your company’s email credibility. DKIM validates your emails with cryptographic public and private key authentication. Essentially, you’re claiming responsibility of your message to prove to the receiver that you are a reliable source. When you create an email through Gmail or other services, you are automatically using their DKIM reputation. This is why emails sent from personal accounts are rarely marked as spam. You want your business to have the same credibility with your own email address and DKIM will help you gain this status of genuineness.

Take Time Devising Your Emails

Even if you’re a legitimate sender, you still might be experiencing a troublesome bounce back rates. If the rate gets high enough, you run the risk of being placed in spam filters or getting blocked by ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

Focusing on the quality of your emails can help significantly. Use the following tips to ensure your emails don’t receive a second glance from ISPs.        Avoid spam trigger words in subject lines like “best price” and “no obligation”        Don’t capitalize every word in your subject line        Never purchase email lists        Correct any spelling or grammar mistakes in the email body        Offer a plain text HTML option        Use personal or business related “from” field names to establish trust In conclusion, rather than feeling fearful of the MongoDB leak, think of it as a valuable reminder of the importance of email security and legitimacy. If you create and receive emails on a regular basis, be mindful of questionable content and keep your business protected. Such actions can a long way in decreasing your bounce rate while simultaneously increasing the trust of your audience.

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