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Staying safe online

Simple tips to stop Phishing and scams


We’ve pulled together some handy hints and tips to keep you cyber safe.

Cyber security can be a daunting topic. Most organisations have a robust IT system in place, designed to block suspicious emails and block connections to the wrong websites, however some still may manage to get past your “blockers” – here are some suggestions on where you can help.

Phishing and scams

Phishing is a term that means an attempt to get sensitive information by pretending to be from a reliable source.

Phishing emails can look and feel legitimate. They use the same design and logos as the company or organisation they’re pretending to be, and the same kind of language. 


Spear phishing

Spear phishing is a very targeted type of phishing. Rather than emailing many people at once, the attacker only emails specific people within a company or organisation, asking for sensitive business information that shouldn’t be available externally. The emails look like they’ve come from a specific department, like HR or Finance, or a particular person in the company.

Athough you can’t prevent a phishing attack, there are things you can do to make sure you recognise one. 

Know what to look for in a phishing email.

You might notice that:

  • you don’t recognise the sender
  • the sender name doesn’t sound quite right
  • you don’t recognise the name of the company
  • the company logo doesn’t look like it should
  • the email refers to you in a generic or odd way — for example, ‘Dear You…’
  • the email contains bad grammar or spelling
  • if you hover over a link in the email with your mouse, the address that you see doesn’t match the place it’s saying it’ll take you.

Don’t click on web links sent by someone you don’t know, or that seem out of character for someone you do know. If you’re not sure about something, contact the person you think might have sent it to check first.Use bookmarks or favourites to access websites rather than links in emails.

Check to see how the companies you deal with will contact you, so you’re more likely to recognise what’s a legitimate request and what isn’t.

Make sure you keep your support contracts (with your antivirus provider or your firewall provider, for example) up to date.
Remember — if you don’t click on any links or attachments in a phishing email, your system is safe.

And, you find a random USB key laying around, make sure to turn it into your IT team.



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