The important thing to remember about phishing scams is that there is no single thing that can protect you against them.
Having a number of tools in place will give you and your device a better chance against attack.
Here are our top 10 tips on protecting your device:
- If it looks too good to be true – it probably is. It’s unlikely that you have won the Spanish lottery or that a relation you never heard of is leaving you money in their will. Don’t click anything and never provide personal information to anyone.
- If something is looking for an urgent response, it’s likely to be a scam.
- Use antivirus software and keep it up-to-date.
- When in doubt, err on the side of caution. If you receive a call or an email or an alert via WhatsApp, always revert to the alleged sender’s real website (secure website always starts with “https”) or phone the company’s helpdesk and describe the call or email you have received – they should be able to set you straight in no-time.
- Never click on a pop-up. Pop-ups can masquerade as a legitimate part of a trusted website but often they are phishing attempts. To avoid being “phished”, click on the ‘x’ on the top right corner – do not click on the ‘cancel’ button as very often this is part of the phishing infrastructure too.
- Keep your browser up-to-date and don’t ignore updates.
- Get into the habit of changing your passwords. Set a reminder on your device and don’t ignore it!
- Install an anti-phishing browser extension like MyWOT.
- Online shopping is now a part of everyday life. If purchasing anything online, ensure that you are doing it via a secure site. Secure sites have URLs that begin with ‘https:’.
- If you think you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, you should report the matter to your local Garda station immediately.