Protecting Yourself from Phishing & Scams - What to Look Out For | Be Secure Online

 

Protecting Yourself from Phishing & Scams - What to Look Out For

Taking time to double check before you click on links or give your details, can help you in the long run.

What Phishing Looks Like

We've all seen recent news of cyber attacks on hundreds of thousands of networks world wide, affecting major corporations and health systems. Cyber criminals don't just target large networks. They also come after the personal user, through their digital devices. 

Phishing is essentially communication designed to get you to divulge information such as personal or bank details or credit card numbers. You may get an email purporting to be from a reputable source such as your bank or IT service provider. 

This mail may ask you to update your details with them, designed to get your login or account numbers, in order to defraud you. You may also be asked to click on a link, which will instal malware on your device.

Phishing emails - Internet security software UK

How does Phishing work?

Phishing emails require the recipient to do something, be it "update" their info, click on links or divulge bank or credit card details, all to be used to try and take money from your accounts or to use your details fraudulently. 

An email may have your bank's logo, for example and a sender address that looks a bit like it could be from your bank.  

Phishing emails used to be more obvious as they often included odd syntax or very bad spelling, but in recent times the scammers have been trying to look more "official" in their emails, though they often still include glaring spelling errors or very strange grammar. These signs can be a giveaway.

You may receive a phone call claiming to be from a service provider, looking for login details to update your account. These calls are designed to garner as much information from you, credit card details being a favourite among the cyber criminals. 

Fraudsters use any means possible to contact you, via email, messaging services or any way that they may be able to access vital information to access your funds.

At BeSecureOnline we often hear of people being caught off guard, who unthinkingly give away vital details, resulting in financial loss, but there are ways you can avoid phishing scams. 

Know what to look out for & what to do.

Your bank will not contact you via email to ask you to update your details or give them account numbers or full logins. Your bank already has these details. Be very wary of any such email. Do not give out logins or details to anyone via email.

Emails claiming to be from a trusted source will have a recognisable email address. Scams will often come from an address which looks like your bank or subscription service, but something won't be right. If you think the email address looks a bit off, don't open it. Check with your bank first.

Don't click links in emails that you weren't expecting. You can hover over the link (never click!) to see the address of the link. If it looks strange, do not click on it.

You may receive an email that looks like it's from your co-worker, family or friend. It may have their name on it. If the email is asking you for something unusual like transferring money to them, paying a supplier bill or asking you to click a link, be very cautious. 

Their account may have been hacked or scammers may be using their name to draw you in. 

Also use common sense; ask yourself if this is the type of mail they would send? Is this how they usually talk? If it looks suspicious, just send an email to your friend - using the address you already have for them.

If you're at work and you get an email supposedly from your boss, but which looks suspect, pick up the phone to make sure it's from them.

If you get an email saying "urgent" or demanding "immediate action", be very careful. Often scammers will prey on our willingness to make sure all of our accounts are up to date. Emails threatening to cut off a service if details aren't updated, need to double checked.

Slow down. Often hackers and cyber criminals prey on the fact that we lead busy lives and want to get through all our emails as quickly as possible. If we take a few moments to really  think about what an email, message or caller wants, we may not be too quick to give away our details.

Make sure you have up to date security on all your devices, to protect yourself from malware and scams.

Trust your instincts. If an email looks suspicious, it may well be. If you receive an email from a family member or friend which doesn't seem like them, check it out by contacting them, other than replying to that email. 

Do not click links in emails, that you're not sure about. Think about your overall internet safety. 

BeSecureOnline - Internet Security Software and Online Safety UK

At BeSecureOnline we provide the best internet security products available, which you can use on all your devices.

You can check out our products here.

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