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January 8, 2019

Five tips to avoid a phishing attack

Phishing is a term used to describe a malicious individual or group who scam users by sending emails or creating websites which are designed to collect private data. Information such as online banking, addresses, and login information is extremely valuable to hackers and they’ll do anything they can to get their hands on it.
Last year, 76% of organisations said they experienced phishing attacks, with 3 out of 4 of these attacks sent via email. High net worth individuals and family offices are at greater risk due to the valuable commercial data on their devices as well as their high public profile.

No one is safe from phishing scams, hackers are continually creating ways to make emails and websites appear official. According to Intel, a staggering 97% of people worldwide are unable to identify a sophisticated phishing email. That’s why we have created five top tips to help you detect phishing scams, helping protect your personal information!

  1. ‘Urgent’ Requests – Unfortunately it is unlikely you are today’s lucky competition winner. Phishers like to play to our emotions by using (fake) exciting or upsetting news to persuade us to handover log in information or credit card details. Remember, if it’s too good to be true then it probably is.
  2. Links and URL’s – Think before you click! Pay close attention to the links and URLs, be sure to use your cursor to hover over any that seem suspicious to check where they are redirecting you to. If you are still unsure, go to the web address by typing it into your browser or by searching for it in a browser!
  3. Check your security – Always double check that the URL you are using starts with https:// and includes the padlock symbol when entering online bank details or other sensitive information. Remember, never use public or unsecured WiFi for online banking, shopping, or submitting personal data, even if the website is secure!
  4. Keep your browser up to date – Popular browsers regularly release security patches which respond to security gaps and loopholes which phishers could exploit. So whenever an update becomes available it is always best to install it immediately.
  5. Be wary of pop-ups – These are often disguised as legitimate elements to a secure website. Usually, they are phishing scams that will redirect you to an insecure website.The majority of online browsers allow you to block pop-ups or there is always free anti-pop software available. Remember, always exit pop-ups using the ‘X’ in the corner of the window as ‘cancel’ or ‘exit’ buttons often lead to phishing sites.

Unfortunately, the number of phishing attacks have risen across most industries and organisations of all sizes. This is no surprise considering 1.5 million new phishing sites are created every month. These attacks can have detrimental consequences to individuals but also businesses, therefore it is in your best interest to onboard these tips and protect your personal information from these malicious attacks.

We hope these tips have been insightful, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discover more about our range of digital security solutions!