Phishing Scams: How to avoid the Phisherman’s Net

By Benny Mansfield

Phishing Scams:

How to Avoid the Phisherman’s Net

We all get them; emails, calls and instant messages from people asking for access to your computer and data. They might ask you for passwords, account numbers or personal information, or they may ask you to open an attachment or click a link.

While there’s plenty of ways you can use technology to help prevent attacks, sometimes it falls to the end user – you – to protect yourself.

If it smells ‘phishy’ then it probably is

If you have any doubt, then we recommend you check. Ask for advice – don’t be afraid to ask your IT security expert. They’d much rather you ask than risk a disaster.

There’s an infinite number of methods that the bad guys will use to scam you, but here are 6 telltale signs you can look out for…

1. Does the message claim to be from someone you know

Such as your bank, a social networking site or a client, but something doesn’t look quite right? Trust your instincts.

2. Generic salutations

Phishing emails tend to use generic names like “Dear Customer”. This is because phishing emails are sent out in large batches so this saves time.

3. Poor grammar or spelling

Often a dead giveaway,

4. Links to official-looking websites

These are copied sites that look very similar to the real thing, but are actually trying to trick you into entering sensitive data.

5. You’re asked to “Verify your account”

Before entering any information or clicking on a link, ask yourself why you’re being asked to verify – there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

6. Sense of urgency

Messages that say something like “If you don’t respond within 24 hours, your account will be closed” are designed to panic you into making a mistake.

Remember, you are your own first line of defence against phishing. You can avoid falling victim to phishing campaign by educating yourself on the signs and by acting with caution.


You’re not alone

If you have any questions about protecting your organisation from cyber-criminals, just shout.