The internet has helped to make modern life much easier for most people. It’s a great source of information and allows people to communicate with each other all over the world. However, it can be quite a worrying place for those who are not familiar and it’s important to stay safe online – especially when using emails.
Although our loved ones may not realise it, they will already have the skills needed to stay safe online. For example, they wouldn’t give card details to a stranger at their front door, so why give them to a stranger in an email?
Emails – Security
Emails have made communicating with family and friends much easier. They also allow your loved one to stay up to date with the latest news or be informed of their interests. But, with the many advantages, there are also disadvantages and there are fraudsters who use email to obtain personal information. Most email accounts are protected and anything suspicious will be filtered into ‘Spam’ or ‘Junk’ folders automatically. Still, it is good to know how to recognise spam and protect any personal information.
Make sure you know the sender before you open the email
Your loved one will normally be able to tell if an email is spam just by looking at the email address it was sent from. However, some scams will disguise themselves very well and pretend to be major companies.
- If the email is sent from a website or email address that isn’t recognised, it’s better to ignore it.
- If the sender’s address is very long, with lots of numbers, the email is likely to be spam.
Check the email subject
There are a few common topics which are used for spam emails. Usually the email will be offering you something for nothing or have information about an order that was not placed. This is to make the user click the contained link. Subjects to look out for are:
- Investment Opportunities.
- Requests for money.
- Order Details from unfamiliar companies.
- Claim your prize.
- Problem with your Account.
Look for spelling mistakes or bad grammar
Spam emails can come from all over the world and are often written in various ways to grab the attention of the reader.
- Spam can get past filters by misspelling words,for example – “Cliam your free prize.”
- Website URL’s will often have a slight spelling error.
- The text is usually very large to capture the attention.
Never open or download attachments
If your loved one is unsure who the sender is, do not open any attachments in the email.
- There may be a link saying “Check this out,” or a document called “Look what I found,” without any further explanation.
Avoid any emails requesting personal information
These emails will appear to be from reputable companies. For example; the bank or HMRC, but they are actually from fraudsters.
- If an email asks for immediate action or any personal information, it is more than likely spam and should be ignored.
- Things like; “Update your information,” or “Sign in immediately,” are signs of spam.
What to do if you receive a suspicious email?
The best advice is that if there are doubts about the email, delete it straight away and don’t open it. Your bank or any other financial institution will never ask for personal information via email, but to be sure, you can always contact the bank by calling them directly using the phone number found on the official website. Don’t panic if an email sounds threatening or urgent, take the time to read all of the information first before reacting.
Staying Safe on the Internet
These tips should help to keep your loved one safe on the internet when using emails. If you are looking for safety at home, you might consider one of our personal alarms. If you would like to find out more, you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by giving our Customer Service Team a call on 0800 101 3333.