Warning for our Customers
Posted on 22nd February 2018 by Lisa
Warning Phishing, Spam, Scams & Fake Websites
If it looks suspicious – then it probably is!
All of our email addresses are becoming more and more in the public domain e.g. in The Directory of Excellence and other on-line sources of information. Sadly, these addresses become targets for all manner of disreputable activity. Scammers use emails or websites to try to get you to give them your personal information, account details and passwords.
Here are our top 10 tips to beware and stay secure
1. Don’t give out personal information
Legitimate banks and most other companies will never ask for personal credentials via email. Never give anyone you don’t know your username, password or bank details. Genuine websites that ask for personal information show a padlock either at the top or the bottom of the web page.
2. Check for spelling mistakes
Legitimate messages usually do not have major spelling mistakes, poor grammar and incorrect use of your name or the English language.
3. Don’t click on attachments
Don’t open any email attachments you weren’t expecting. Malicious attachments that contain viruses, malware and ransomware are a common phishing tactic which can damage files on your computer, steal your passwords or spy on you without your knowledge. With ransomware they will close down your computer and demand money/bit coins to re-open it!
4. Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line
A sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject lines that claim your “account has been suspended” or your account had an “unauthorised login attempt.”
5. Look but don’t click
Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the email. If the link address looks weird, don’t click on it. A genuine secure web address should always start: https:// Websites that start with http:// are not secure. Look for the ‘s’!
6. Review the signature
Lack of details about the signer or how you can contact a company strongly suggests a phish. Legitimate businesses always provide contact details.
7. Anti-Virus & Firewall Updates
Regularly update your antivirus software and make sure your firewall is always switched on.
8. Create Unique Long Passwords
Change your passwords regularly. The longer the better, a 10 digit password is harder to guess than an 8 digit one.
9. Don’t believe everything you see
Phishers are extremely good at what they do. Just because an email has convincing brand logos, language, and a seemingly valid email address, does not mean that it’s legitimate. Be sceptical when it comes to your email messages—if it looks even remotely suspicious, don’t open it. Look closely at the email address – is it really from the Bank, PayPal or the Revenue?
10. Communication from The Directory of Excellence
Any email from us with an attachment will be an invoice in a PDF format. Please phone us is you are unsure about anything. You can always ask our opinion or better still, strike up a rapport with some of the computer gurus in The Directory.
And finally, we have not changed our bank account for many years and are not intending to do so. We mention this just in case (as has already happened) you get a request seemingly from us (it isn’t) to transfer money into another bank account.
More information can be found on:-
Citizens Advice Phishing – spam emails and fake websites