For the second instalment in our ‘staying safe online’ (with content from the NCVO’s KnowHowNonProfit website) we’re looking at how you can (hopefully) prevent your organisation falling victim to email scammers. As more of our life moves online, we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hackers and scammers, who seek financial gain through stealing your personal information or taking control of your computer.
1. Be vigilant, everyone is a target
The most important thing to remember is that we are all vulnerable to hackers or scammers, no matter how small your organisation. It only takes one scam email to succeed for the financial or operation information of you and your organisation to be at risk.
2. Beware all suspicious emails
Phishing scams are emails that are falsified to appear as if they are from a trusted source to dupe you into divulging personal information or installing malicious software that can take control of your computer.
Commonly these emails are disguised to look like they come from large service providers (HRMC, O2, UPS, Apple, Facebook, Gmail etc.), but can also appear to come from people you know.
Be suspicious of any message from an organisation you don’t have a service with, or that asks for your password or personal or financial information.
Always check the full address that the email has come from – if it isn’t from @ the company they say, then it is a scam. This email is purporting to be from O2, but the email address gives it away as a scam:
3. Be sceptical to avoid becoming a victim
Foreign offers are often fake, it’s unlikely a long-lost relative has left you money or is stuck in a compromising position in a foreign jail and you probably aren’t due a rebate from HMRC!
Scammers use emotion to try to make you click first and think later, so slow down in your response to surprising emails.
Does the email look right? Check spelling and grammar, capitalisation of words, resolution of logos and whether anything specific to you has been included. Phishing emails are designed quickly and sent in bulk, so use of language and design of the email can often be a giveaway. Go with your gut; if it seems suspicious, it’s probably a scam.
Read the full article