Category Archives: Email

Email safety tips

Many people fall victim to traps by criminals sent in emails. More recently, these criminals have used the pandemic as a cover story to con large amounts of money or personal data from unsuspecting victims by phishing. Here are some simple things to be aware of

Definition: Phishing. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

  • Your bank will not discuss your private financial situation by email. If you receive any correspondence that claims to come from your bank, telephone your branch to verify it and discuss the matter over the telephone instead.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links from anyone you do not know. If you do click on them, this could result in malware being downloaded to your device.
  • Look for spelling and grammatical errors. These messages often come from abroad.
  • Look at the email address of the sender. If it doesn’t look like it’s from the company they represent, don’t respond.

Finally, when you see a suspicious email, delete it. Put it in the bin where it belongs!

Email accounts explained

With the advent of GDPR, town, community and parish Councillors and the clerk should no longer use personal email account for council business.

There are two main types of accounts: free web-based emails such as hotmail or gmail and hosted email accounts where the email address uses your domain name eg clerk@yourdomain.org.uk.

With hosted accounts there are 2 types: POP and IMAP and the main difference between these is that with IMAP, messages are stored on the server and are accessible from anywhere and with POP accounts messages are downloaded to the user’s computer.

Hosted Accounts

IMAP accounts

Pros

  • Messages are stored on the server
  • You can access your email from any computer or device that is connected to the internet
  • You don’t need to be connected to the internet to view received messages or compose new messages, but you need to be connected to send or receive messages
  • You can use either an internet browser or an email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird to access your emails
  • The council has control over all email accounts and can request the removal of an account and deletion of messages if a Councillor or clerk leaves the council
  • Your email address uses your website domain name – giving a more professional appearance

Cons

  • You will need to pay to have the accounts set up and maintained
  • Most companies will charge extra for storage space for the email messages

POP accounts

Pros

  • Messages are downloaded to the your computer
  • You need a program such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird to access your emails
  • You don’t need to be connected to the internet to view received messages or compose new messages, but you need to be connected to send or receive
  • The council can request that an account be removed if a Councillor or clerk leaves the council, and that account will no longer work, although messages already downloaded will remain on the user’s computer (see Cons below)
  • Your email address uses your website domain name – giving a more professional appearance

Cons

  • You will need to pay to have the accounts set up and maintained
  • You can only access the messages on the computer that the messages have been downloaded to
  • If you request that an account be removed, messages that have already been downloaded will remain on the user’s computer unless they delete them

Free web-based accounts

Pros

  • You can access your emails from anywhere connected to the internet
  • It’s a free service

Cons