Phishing scams are on the rise, and your inbox is probably full of messages from people you don't know. One way to combat this is by using an email alias. An email alias is a secondary email address that can be used to receive messages intended for your primary email address. This can be a great way to filter out spam and protect your inbox from phishing attempts.
What are email aliases?
Much like a name, an email address is a person's unique identity in the digital world. However, users risk their digital identity and data when sharing email addresses across many websites.
A simple way to ensure data and identity sanctity is by sharing a forwarding mail ID instead of a primary email ID. This type of forwarding mail ID (alias or nickname) is an email alias.
For example, a person’s email address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Instead of sharing the primary email ID, if the person shares an alias or a forwarding mail ID like <email@example.com>, which is not connected to the main one linked to the corporate profile, people can safeguard their PII and data. Such an alias protects users in the case of their email IDs getting exposed by hackers. Using aliases makes sense for individual users or subscribers, too.
Email aliases and phishing attempts
From a business standpoint, an email alias is simply a secondary email address that can be used to receive messages intended for the primary email address. This can be a great way to filter out spam and protect your inbox from phishing attempts.
Spotting phishing emails is part of mandatory IT security training in most companies these days. Training employees to create email aliases for signing up for third-party sites can help mitigate cyber risk.
Here are some of the pros and cons of creating email aliases for business:
Pros of using email aliases for businesses
Stay a step ahead: With email aliases, businesses can stay a step ahead of hackers. They prevent phishing sites from accessing the primary/corporate email ID.
Secure employees’ primary inboxes: Email aliases help secure primary inboxes as they mask the actual email address and protect employees' digital identities. Email aliases cannot be linked to the original ID if created carefully.
Hackers cannot backtrack email aliases: Unlike primary email IDs, email aliases leave no digital footprint, as they can be renamed, deleted, redirected, or deactivated.
Flag unethical third-party sites: Employees interact with a lot of third-party sites and vendors in the course of business. Email aliases can help flag unethical websites that sell users’ data. How? If aliases created for a specific website start receiving emails from an unintended sender, it is clear that the site is selling data or its database is compromised.
An amazing efficiency hack: For small teams and businesses, email aliases can work wonders in saving time. Admins can create email aliases for a group of contacts in the sender's list. When an email is sent to this list, the email automatically goes to the group, saving tons of time.
A cost-effective way to create professional-looking email IDs: Beyond security, a significant benefit of creating email aliases is that it allows small businesses to create a professional digital presence. Companies or freelancers can create separate email aliases for billing, sales, etc. Email aliases can help employees organize their inboxes if they fill multiple roles.
Cons of using email aliases for businesses
Not foolproof: While email aliases are a great way to stay ahead of hackers, they are not foolproof. Hackers can still find other ways to access data if they are determined enough.
May lead to confusion: Multiple email addresses can be confusing for both the users and recipients. It is important to have a system in place to keep track of which alias is being used for what purpose.
May require additional effort: Creating and managing email aliases can be an additional burden on already overworked IT staff.
Email aliases are a great way for businesses to protect themselves from phishing attacks and other cyber threats. While they are not foolproof, they can help mitigate risk.
At Packetlabs, we believe everyone has a right to cybersecurity and privacy. Protecting digital identity is as important as securing corporate data. Learn more about our solutions to strengthen your security posture.