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What is phishing? How do I avoid a phishing scam?


Emily Keeling

Marketing Manager

Phishing is an online scam widely used by criminals to gain personal information about you such as your bank details or other sensitive information. Phishing scams can be hard to spot and can lead to people accidentally giving their personal information to cybercriminals.

Phishing has evolved over the years to become increasingly complex, making it harder to spot or prevent. Phishing has evolved over the years from a simple request for money from a ‘family member’ to exploiting the covid-19 pandemic. This has led to a larger amount of people falling for phishing and losing their personal data.

There are few obvious signals when it comes to spotting a phishing email such as; spelling mistakes or sentences not really making sense. Another way of spotting phishing emails is to look for urgent messages that request money within the next few hours or if there is suspicious links or unexpected attachments which do not look to fit with the rest of the email.

There are six main different types of phishing; email phishing- requesting money over email, spear phishing- a way to mainly reveal information about an individual, smishing- phishing over text message, vishing – phishing over call, whaling- that targets high level corporate officers with fraudulent emails, and quishing- where scammers use QR codes to request money.

There are ways to protect yourselves from a phishing scam. They are extremely useful and could lead to saving you thousands of pounds. These could be protecting your computer with a security software, protecting your mobile phone by updating it regularly, use 2FA or MFA, or protecting your data by backing it up.

Phishing is very dangerous and can lead to drastic consequences, it is very important to stay safe online and to make sure all your data is safe. 

Please listen to advice given and do not open suspicious links or answer suspicious emails.