At this time of year, when people are getting into a festive mood, the hackers tend to think they can trick you into opening emails containing things you don’t want, like viruses, Trojans, worms etc.
Don’t worry about the technical terms, you just need to know that these emails want to get you to pay people money, or steal your bank details.
This can affect your home and also your work emails.
Your first line of protection is being a little street wise. For example, you wouldn’t just hand over your handbag or wallet to a stranger in the street who asks for it. So, if you receive an email from someone you don’t know, asking for your bank details, you naturally shouldn’t give them out.
But these scammers are cleverer that that. Here are some of the things they will try to do:
- Send you an email that looks like it comes from a bank asking you to update your details – Just check and see if the email is even from a bank you have an account with. DO NOT EVER click on any link in the email. DO log into your bank in the way you would normally and if you need to update any details, do it there.
- Send you an email looking like it comes from a parcel delivery company – At this time of year many of us are ordering online, so you may think it is genuine. The email will usually say they have tried to deliver and no one was home, so there is a link to follow. First thing to ask yourself is did I even order anything to be delivered. If the email asks you to follow a link, and then requests your bank details or paypal details to be confirmed DON’T.
- Send you and email asking you to reset your apple id – DON’T, just go to the apple website and do it there.
- Send you and email pretending to be HMRC telling you about a tax refund you’re due – great to have some extra money at this time of year, BUT HMRC don’t use email for things like the EVER, they use the postal system, so this will always be a scam.
A couple of tips to help you stay safe:
- Get yourself some decent internet security software
- Once you’ve got it make sure you keep it updated regularly
- When you receive an email, check the email address it has come from. Often this simple check helps you spot that an email pretending to be from somewhere it isn’t actually from them
- Examine the Subject line – Anything unspecific or vague should not be opened, such as “Re:” “Hi” “What didn’t you call” “Why did you not reply” as should those with obvious spelling mistakes.
- Its fine to preview all emails, but remember, it’s the links or attachments that do the damage
- NEVER EVER open an email you think is suspicious.
- Ask yourself “was I expecting to receive this email”