Phishing – what is it and how can we avoid it?

NHS computer

The IT team have recently noticed an increase in ‘phishing’ emails.

They are sent by fraudsters who masquerade as someone trusted (such as your bank) to obtain information from you, e.g. your bank details or a system username and password.

Some look like a genuine email that you would typically expect to receive. The IT team block countless unsolicited emails every day, but occasionally some do get through as the people sending them continually attempt to evade our filtering system.

If you respond to a phishing attempt or click on a link in the email, your accounts could be compromised and the fraudster could use it to send thousands more spam emails to other email users.

Here are some simple measures to make sure you don’t get caught out:

  • You will never be asked for your password by a genuine company or organisation so don’t reveal it to anyone verbally, via email or by entering it onto any other website than the official trusted sites
  • Never click on a link or open an attachment sent to you from an untrusted source - if you receive an email containing links or attachments you’re unsure of, delete it
  • You can also prevent any further emails from that email address by adding the sender to your junk email list. Simply right click on the email and select ‘junk’ then ‘block sender’.

If you have any doubt about an email you have received, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Published 4th October, 2016

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