If it looks phishy then get rid of it quick!
That’s the message from force cyber crime experts today as part of the ongoing Cyber Security – Has It Clicked? campaign.
According to the latest statistics released by joint public private internet safety initiative Get Safe Online - as part of the 10th annual Get Safe Online week – more than a quarter of online victims are duped by targeted phishing emails or phone scams.
And businesses are just as likely to be targeted by phishing cyber criminals as anyone else.
Phishing emails are designed to appear as though they have come from a trusted source, such as your bank, credit card companies or government agencies.
However, they are not what they seem and are a popular means for cyber criminals to attack.
Most phishing emails have one of two aims:
To make the receiver click on a link that takes them to a hoax, but apparently genuine website, where they will be asked for confidential information, or your system will be infected with malware.
Open what appears to be a legitimate attachment, which again will infect your system with malware.
Insp Rich Osgerby, from the force cyber crime team, said the best defence against this kind of scam was prevention.
He said: “There are a number of things to look out for when it comes to spotting a phishing email.
“Often it’s the little things like the spelling and grammar is not quite right or the website link or email address differs very slightly from the organisation’s website address.
“Sometimes the email will come from a free webmail address or the greeting will be very general, such as ‘Dear customer’, rather than personal to you.
“Many phishing emails bank on panicking their targets into clicking on the link or attachment by insinuating that unless you act now your account may be closed.
“You should also keep in mind that legitimate businesses would not ask for personal information such as your username, password or bank details.”
Protecting yourself from phishing emails is relatively simple.
Don’t open attachments or respond to emails from unknown sources
If you’re suspicious of an email, check if it is on a list of known spam and scam emails that many internet security software firms feature on their websites.
Many email providers have spam filtering as standard. Make sure yours is switched on and check your junk mail periodically to make sure no legitimate emails are being stopped.
Most internet security packages also include spam blocking. Ensure it’s on and updated regularly.
Get Safe Online can provide a host of information on protecting your firm from online criminals.
You can also check out tips and advice from the force Has It Clicked? campaign, follow @Humberbeat #HasItClicked? on Twitter or visit the Humberside Police Facebook page.