As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and the rapid increase in people working from home, there has been a growing concern about the increasing numbers of people trying to gain access to accounts using 'phishing' techniques. Here are some hints and tips to avoid being 'phished' by being #scamaware
What is phishing?
Phishing is when someone tries to get information from you, or asks you to do something, that will allow them to access your online account. It can be done by phone or through social media, but is most common through emails.
Key things to look out for are:
The messages can seem very realistic, but there are often clues which can help you to identify if it is a phishing attack. Spelling mistakes and grammar problems might suggest that the email is not from an official source, or the email address it was sent from might seem unusual. In the example below, published by HMRC, the email hasn't come from an NHS address, the grammar is inaccurate, and there's a missing picture before gov.uk.
What should I do if I get a phishing email?
The National Cyber Security Centre has made additional guidance available, at the following link https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/files/Phishing-attacks-dealing-suspicious-emails-infographic.pdf.
What can I do to protect myself?
What can I do if I have given my details to a phishing attack?
If you have received an email and clicked on a link, given your login details or otherwise followed the instructions in the message please report it to the appropriate body immediately. They will be able to deal with your compromised account but only if you let them know. Contacting them as quickly as possible will help them prevent any loss.
More information on these types of cyberattacks can be found on the National Cyber Security Centres website https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions and they have a video here https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/training/top-tips-for-staff-web/story_html5.html.