‘Phishing’ has been in the news recently after Google Docs users suffered an attack. The aim of phishing is to get your personal information, whether that’s your online banking, photos, documents, or passwords. The scammer will use clever tricks to present themselves as a person or brand that you already know, making you more likely to trust them and give them your information.
Common types of phishing are through email or web forms but there are other types, too. The good news is that the phisher can’t get your information unless you give it to them, so staying safe is a matter of staying alert.
Avoid being ‘phished’ – signs to look out for
- Be suspicious. Look at email addresses for anything that looks off for example an email from email@example.com will be real, but firstname.lastname@example.org is probably a fake! (This isn’t always the best way to tell, as some scammers can make very convincing email addresses, but it’s a good first thing to check.)
- Never click on links within emails that claim to be from your bank – go directly to your online banking instead.
- Banks and retailers will NEVER ask you for personal details through email…
- …and the same goes for passwords.
- Typos or strange phrasing from a big brand like Ebay, Amazon, or your bank are big red flags. Real emails from these sources are likely to be from standard templates that are polished and professionally written.
- If an email seems to come from a friend or colleague, ask yourself if anything feels ‘phishy’…is their tone unfamiliar? Are they asking unusual questions? Did your boss open an email with, ‘Hi darling’? If it doesn’t sound like them, it probably isn’t.
- Ask yourself if the scenario is likely. For example, an email from Apple saying that you need to update your payment methods should be concerning to you if you don’t use Apple or haven’t made any recent purchases.
We found this very useful quiz so you can test how good you are at avoiding being phished, it only takes a few minutes and will give you real examples of the kinds of things to look out for!
What to do if you think you’re being ‘phished’ –
- If you’re in work, inform your IT department. They can block the emails for you.
- NEVER click any links or downloads
- NEVER reply, even if you’re only asking ‘is this really you?’
- If you’ve already clicked a link before you realise that it may not be real, act quickly – if you’ve entered any passwords, then immediately change them. If you’re worried then contact the bank or service in question and get their advice.
If you’re worried about other fraudulent activity on your computer, you can protect yourself using Telitec Shield. Block malware, explicit content, spam and more with just one product. Get in touch with Telitec for more information – email@example.com.