How many times have you opened an email or text that looked genuine, or clicked on a link, only to realise that the sender was out to trick you into revealing your personal details? October is cyber security awareness month, so our IT team has put together some top tips to help you stay safe online.
How do I spot a phishing email or text?
- Do you recognise the sender? If not, proceed with caution.
- Do you recognise the sender but not the email address? The email may be trying to mimic someone you do trust.
- Are there any strange links or attachments on the email?
- Does the subject line match the content of the email?
- Are there any misspellings (for example: r0botz). These are sometimes used to fool spam filters.
- Are you being offered something that’s too good to be true, for example a free laptop or lots of money?
- Is there a sense of urgency to the email, for example: click this link to buy NOW!
What else can I do to protect myself online?
- Enable multi-factor authentication – this is an extra layer of security when you log into an application or website and usually involves entering a password or pin that’s been sent to your phone or email address. It prevents 99.9% of cyberattacks from being successful so you should always enable it where possible.
- Use strong passwords – a strong password is as important as ever. They should be easy for you to remember but difficult for someone else to guess. Long passwords are a good idea.
- Update your software – you’ll often be asked to install an update or restart your computer after an update has been installed. These types of updates often include essential security improvements that help to protect against a cyberattack so it’s important to do so as soon as possible. Remember, any device that connects to the internet will need regular updates.