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May 2015

Tip –Phishing scams

‘Phishing scams’ or ‘spam’ emails are designed to obtain sensitive information for malicious purposes…

Why do I get Spam?

• Identity theft, to steal money
• Obtain sensitive information (usernames, passwords)
• Use your computer and information for illegal activities
• Malicious links and attachments (computer viruses)
• Advertising

What kinds of Phishing scam emails can I expect in my inbox?

• Courier shipments e.g. from Fedex or UPS
• Threats of account suspended e.g. Email account
• Bogus mail from financial institution
• Illegal software download (especially antivirus software)
• Pictures and links that says ‘click me’

When should I hear alarm bells?

• EVERY time you receive an email you were not expecting
• When you don’t recognise the sending address
• When the email requests you open a link or an attachment
• When they are asking for unsolicited information
• Computer is running slow, unusual pop ups
• Security and antivirus software alerts

I’m suspicious about an email, what other clues to look for?

• If it doesn’t address you with your real name e.g. “Dear Customer”
• The sending address doesn’t look like a legitimate business e.g. anz@hotmail.com
• The subject line sounds odd, or includes strange punctuation
• Vague information, not referring to a specific account or product
• Poor grammar
• Links that do not go to the legitimate domain for the business e.g. www.anz.freewebs.com (check the official domains of sites you have accounts with)

Best practice:

• Never click links in emails, Always type the website address into your browser and log into your accounts from the website
• Try googling the address or name of the person in the email, if the top results are security discussion/sites, you will want to research further
• Send it to Junk! Most email programs have the option to ‘Mark email as Spam’ (or Junk) it will be sent to the Junk folder so you won’t see them in your Inbox
• Never download illegal software or files
• Ensure you have good antivirus software installed with email protection
• Do not give out personal information to suspicious persons
• Contact our Helpdesk if you think your computer has been compromised.

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