What are ‘phishing’emails?

NHS computer

‘Phishing’ emails are usually sent by fraudsters who masquerade as someone trusted (such as your bank) to gain information from you, e.g. your bank details or a username and password.

These emails can look like the real deal and what you would typically expect to see.

The IT team are asking all staff to be vigilant. There is currently a phishing risk in circulation of fraudsters who claim to be from ‘headquarters IT support’, offering to remove a window virus. The attacker instructs you to install legitimate support software called TeamViewer and will then try to bypass the computer firewall.

This will allow the fraudster to view everything on the victim’s computer. The system could also be infected with ransomware, which encrypts files and locks them unless a ransom is paid.

The IT team blocks many of these emails every day, but some do occasionally get through as the people sending them continually attempt to evade our filtering system.

If you attempt to respond or click on a link in the email, our 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 20th January, 2017

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