Scam emails, also known as phishing emails/attacks, are becoming increasingly more common as fraudsters come up with new tricks to try and steal your personal information and bank details. In some cases, the emails carry malicious software which can infect your computer, tablet or mobile with a virus. So, how can you avoid falling victim to scam emails?
You can take measures to avoid spam from getting into your mailbox. Most email applications and web mail services have spam-filtering features.
Think before you click!
Be cautious of opening emails from senders you do not recognise. In addition, ensure you only open email attachments or click on links from trusted senders/familiar ‘from’ addresses. If the links do not look genuine do not open it. However, over every web address and wait for a small pop up. This will show you where the link will take you.
Ensuring you have a secure link
Following on from thinking before you click. You can take some basic steps to see if the link is secure:
- Check that there is a padlock in the browser address bar after the web address.
- If you are using a modern web browser e.g. Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, you can click the padlock and it will display the website’s security status. You can even view the SSL certificate
- check the web address begins with https:// The ‘s’ stands for Secure and means your connection to the website will be encrypted.
Use an antivirus software
This will check your computer programmes and monitor files before they are opened. However, you need to ensure you keep it up to date, most programmes include an automatic update feature. Free Anti-Virus software may appear excellent value for money, but they may not be as effective as the paid for version as they may offer reduced functionality or less frequent updates.
Keep your firewall switched on
A firewall is security shield that stops scammers getting into your computer. They can monitor and warn you of unexpected access on your computer.