There has been a huge increase in phishing attacks in the past few years – with numbers rising by more than 162 per cent from 2010 to 2014.
It is estimated such attacks cost organisations worldwide about $4.5 billion per year, with more than half of Internet users receiving at least one phishing or spoofing email per day.
Phishing sites are basically a web page or site designed by a hacker to look legitimate, but with only one aim – to obtain your personal data; such as bank account numbers, logins, passwords or credit card details.
Clicking on or opening an attachment from such a spam email can quickly redirect you to a phishing site, resulting in identity theft.
It is an unfortunate fact that no matter how efficient your computer security defences are – some phishing attacks will almost certainly make it through to your inbox.
So in the interests of customer and general safety – Core IT has prepared the following tips to help reduce the risk of your computer network or system being compromised.
Of course, should you have any concerns about any email you have received, please forward it to Core IT so they can confirm if it is a spam email or not.
Top tips on how to identify advanced malware:
- Never click on a link without checking it first
Hover your mouse over any link embedded in a suspicious email. If the link address looks strange, never click on it. To test the link, open a new window and type the website address in directly – rather than clicking on it.
- Never give out personal information
Authentic organisations such as banks will never request your information by email and you should never give such details out unless you are certain of the sender.
- Don’t believe everything you see
Be sceptical when it comes to your email messages and if it looks even remotely suspicious, don’t open it. Hackers and phishers are very savvy and just because an email has a credible-looking brand logo, language, or seemingly valid email address, doesn’t mean it is legitimate.
- Install quality anti-spam software
One of the best ways to protect against dangerous spam or malware is to install powerful anti-spam software. The best ones not only tag emails as spam, allowing you to delete or recover as required, but also block dangerous malware, viruses, email spoofing, and phishing attacks. There are many good programs out there – please contact Core IT to find the one that best suits you.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
One classic sign of a dangerous email is when the content seems too good to be true – such as the promise of a large sum of money. These emails have only one aim – to collect your bank account information. They come in many forms, including Nigerian scammers, fake lottery wins and governments owing you money. Never click on a link or provide your bank account information if you receive one of these.
- Beware bad spelling and grammar
When legitimate companies send out messages to clients or staff, that message is usually reviewed for spelling, grammar, and legality. If a message is full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes, or has been written by someone with poor English skills, it is highly likely to be a scam.
For more information on handling malware attacks, please contact Adam Garnaut or Kerrie Lugton at Core IT on +61 8 9200 6030.
With Mike Peeters Media