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Tips and tricks to avoid email scams and stay protected

Updated: Apr 17



Email is one of the most widely used tools in our daily communications, yet it's also one of the most common targets for cybercriminals, with over 90% of cyberattacks beginning with a malicious email. This statistic emphasises the importance of email security to protect against phishing and malware attacks, against both businesses and personal users.

To effectively detect and defer these email scams, it's vital to ensure your account is properly protected and adhere to best practices. 


Avoiding Email Scams

To effectively avoid and dodge email scams, recognizing the warning signs is crucial. Here's a breakdown of key indicators:


Phishing Attacks:

  • A phishing attempt is an email that upon first glance looks like it's from a trusted vendor ie; your bank, or the post office, but in reality it aims to steal any credentials you enter.

  • Some early warning signs that an email is illegitimate can include: Urging you to take immediate action to avoid any negative consequences, use of impersonal greetings such as “sir” or “madam” as opposed to your real name, spelling or grammar mistakes, and the email being from an unfamiliar address.

By keeping an eye out for these red flags, you can better protect yourself from falling victim to phishing attempts. Always verify the authenticity of the email sender and avoid sharing personal information unless you are certain of the recipient's legitimacy. If you believe you have received a fraudulent email, report it on the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing


Strengthening Your Digital Defences:

  • Utilising antivirus security software on your computer and ensuring it updates automatically is a good safety net for any online attacks that you may be targeted for.

  • Regularly backing up your data can help protect against ransomware and other types of data loss.

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication on sensitive accounts will give you a second line of defence on the off chance that cybercriminals do manage to breach your account.

  • Staying educated and up to date on the latest online security threats so that you know what to look out for.


By implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to email scams. Regular vigilance and up-to-date knowledge on cybersecurity will serve as your best defence against evolving cyber threats.


What To Do If You Fall Victim

If you find yourself a victim of an email scam, taking immediate action is crucial to mitigate potential damage. Here's what you should do:


Report and Seek Help:

If you believe you have fallen victim to an email scam, contact the metropolitan police at https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/prevent-personal-fraud/#:~:text=Get%20help%20or%20report%20a,%2C%20including%20fraud%2C%20is%20important.


Secure Your Online Profile:

  • Change your passwords for all online accounts, to something entirely different

  • Contact your bank or anywhere holding money and alert them

  • Use your computer's antivirus software to run a scan of the device


Monitor and Protect:

  • Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for unauthorised transactions 

  • Enable two-factor authentication on all accounts where possible 

  • Stay informed about new phishing techniques to better dodge future scams


Taking these steps can help you recover from the scam and bolster your defences against future threats.


Protecting Your Online Identity

To safeguard your digital identity and maintain privacy, it can be helpful to employ a strategy that encompasses cautious online behaviour. Here are key steps to implement:


Manage Online Presence Carefully:

  • Adjust your social media privacy settings to control who can see your information. 

  • Avoid sharing sensitive personal details over public Wi-Fi networks ie; at a coffee shop or on the train.

  • Understand and regularly review the privacy policies of platforms you use to stay informed about how your data is handled


The best way to avoid falling victim to email scams is by remaining vigilant and educating yourself on what to look out for. By reading this article you have taken the first steps to clueing yourself in and protecting yourself against online fraudsters.


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