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Avoid online scams to keep yourself safe

Wednesday 25 March 2020

New ways of working and potential home distractions mean conditions are perfect for bad actors looking to harvest data.

News sites are reporting an increase in ‘phishing’ emails and other online scams, designed to trick users into giving up confidential information or access to systems.

How to stay safe

Phishing emails often look like they’re from a credible source such as a bank, social networking site, or online shop. Be very cautious about all communications received and the content or actions they are asking.

A scam email will usually get the user to try and provide a login, credit card, or other personal information. This could be by saying they noticed some suspicious account activity, providing a fake invoice, requesting payment, or offering a coupon, amongst many other things.

Don’t click any link or open any attachment in an email that you suspect is a scam and never respond to an email that looks like a scam. Delete it, then make sure it is also deleted from the ‘trash' or ’deleted items’ folders.

Making sure good system protections are in place is a must – good filters will do a lot of the work, though users still need to be mindful as scams get more sophisticated.

If an email looks like it might be from a trusted source or one that is regularly received, contact that source by another means to check its credibility.

Protecting accounts

Multi-factor authentication can protect accounts, this is where two or more credentials are required to log in. Multi-factor authentication makes it harder to gain access to an account, even if a scammer is successful in stealing the login details.

REPORT IT

Scam emails can be reported to Action Fraud on their website 24/7. Specialist teams can then build up a picture of current scam activity and take action where needed.

Action Fraud