Whitwick & District U3A - Computing tip April 2017
Regrettably phishing is all too common. It attempts to get you to divulge some personal information such as passwords, date of birth etc. in order to impersonate you and obtain access to an online account. Furthermore, what is learnt about one account may be tried on other accounts.
The most powerful protection against phishing is common sense supplemented by a few simple guidelines. The following are worth remembering:
1) An email does not necessarily come from whoever it says it's from, and may appear in any email account you have. A recent example for one member was via the account they had with a U3A (not ours in this instance). 2) The email may look quite convincing with the correct logos etc. Although it is not uncommon to find poor English or bad spelling in phishing emails, this is not always the case. 3) Is it likely that the organisation has used email to contact you, and does it greet you personally - failure to do so is a good pointer that is phishing, but unfortunately the reverse is not an absolute guarantee that it is genuine. 4) Be very, very wary about clicking on any link. Hover over the link and you should see where it is going - it probably isn't what it purports to be. Far safer is to enter the correct address for the organisation directly into your browser.
Typically phishing emails purport to come from such as banks, HMRC, Apple, PayPal and similar. They may also use look-alike names e.g. paypa1 (a figure 1 not a letter l), slight misspelling e.g. micrasoft (an a not an o).
If you are technically savvy, then examining email headers will almost always identify dodgy emails.
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