Protect yourself this Christmas and look out for these phishing emails

Fraudsters work overtime during the Christmas period when they know we are more susceptible to scam emails and text messages, writes Cheryl Smitham.

We’ve put together some straightforward advice that could save your Christmas.

If you receive an unexpected email, then ask yourself:

  • Is the email addressed to you by name? Or is it addressed to “our valued customer”, “colleague” or “friend”?
  • Does the email have an urgency to it? For example, does the email ask you to follow a link to a website within 24 hours?
  • Look at the sender’s name and email address. Do you know the sender, or are you expecting an email from this company or person?
  • If an email is from your bank, they will never ask you to click on any link supplied or ask you to move funds to another account. Always call your bank directly before completing anything.
  • Look at the graphics on an email such as the quality and design. Is this what you would expect?
  • Always remember: if an email sounds too good to be true then it probably is, and someone could be waiting for you to click on a link to either gain access to your computer or retrieve payment details from you.

You could have the strongest password in the world, but if you click on a link that presents a login page purporting to belong to Office 365, your bank or any other website that holds your private information then, once you type it into the password field, the criminal will have it. This is why it is important to:

  • Have a secondary authentication method (via a text message or an app on your phone) configured for all accounts that are important to you.
  • Never use the same password on different accounts, as criminals will automatically try other popular websites with the credentials they have stolen.

What to do if you fall for a scam email:

Step 1 – Open your anti-virus software and run a full scan.

Step 2 – Disconnect from the Internet.

Step 3 – Change your passwords on all your other accounts if they are the same.

If you have lost money, then you should get in contact with Action Fraud. You can do this by visiting their website.

Please stay safe online this Christmas.


Indelible Data offers comprehensive Cyber Essentials certification