Email Scams And How To Keep Safe

Written by Adam Foster

5th June 2018

 the Did you ever get the one from a Nigerian Prince who needed your help getting money out of the country and he would pay you for your troubles?

Many more scams have reached the level of public knowledge as the kind and frivolous Prince but why? Well, email is something that most people use every day and that gives those with an alternative agenda the ideal opportunity to play the numbers game in hope that they get lucky.

Tricks can be used in emails to make you think that you are being sent an email from a reputable source, that the link will take you to the right place or that your boss really has requested you pay an invoice to a supplier you have never heard of.

So with all of the skulduggery going on how do we protect ourselves from being duped by the evil genius minds that are targeting our Inbox?

A good starting point is to have a filter in place, something that checks the validity of emails trying to get into your, potentially overflowing, Inbox. Using a dedicated service that exists simply to swat away the troublemakers will help. They do not always get it right 100% of the time and that is when education has to play a part in keeping us safe.

When an email does come into your inbox remember that just because it has potentially passed through a filter it does not mean that the email is safe. We have to be vigilant before taking action on our emails as once you takes them steps you generally can’t go back.

Here are a few review points on how to scrutinise EVERY email:

·       Were you expecting this email?

·       Do you know the sender? Check both the name AND the email address the message was sent from

·       If you know the name of the sender and their email address looks right, are they writing in a way you would expect?

·       What is the action that the email wants you to perform and why?

·       If the email contains a link to a website, you maybe able to hover over it with your mouse to see what the real address is. This is a tactic used to disguise the real website you will be sent to. Note that if you have a security filtering service in place they may change this address so this trick will not work as the address will be disguised.

·       Don’t be afraid to verify the email content with the supposed sender. Call them on a number you already have for them or that is available from an official company such such as their website, not the one in the email.

·       If there is an attachment then consider the impact, it could contain a virus. Curiosity does not stop viruses.

·       Ask someone for a review, if you have an IT service provider then ask their advice.

Overall, it is better to be safe than sorry.

For further information on data security and ways to keep yourself protected online check out our blog posts or contact our team for a chat

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