Three simple habits to sink phishing scams


If you woke up from a ten-year long nap this morning, you might be surprised to hear the advice for securing your computer hasn't changed much.

Sure, the devices are way better, the connections way faster and buffering is heading the way of the floppy disk. But you'll still hear things like "don't click on attachments" or "run updated security and system software" and "look out for phishing scams."

Fake sites set up by crooks to trick you into offering your private data were born in America and took off about a decade ago. Mobile devices with URLs obscured by smaller screens gave them new life.

In 2018 you can still get phished online, unfortunately. But you can also easily avoid nearly all of these scams — says Sean Sullivan, F-Secure Security Advisor — by adopting and sticking to three simple habits.

1. Don't click on any links in emails
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The link in the email is the lure and the website is the hook. If you can avoid the lure, you avoid the hook. Most, if not all, people who end up phished got there by clicking on something in their email inbox.

Hijacked webmail accounts are often used to solicit all known contacts for phishing scams by these cyber criminals. You may think you're saving time but the few seconds saved aren't worth the risk of your accounts being stolen.

2. Bookmark for your favourite shopping, banking and financial sites

Bookmarks Option Displayed on Computer MonitorSetting up a bookmark so you go directly to the sites you trust with your personal and financial information will vastly reduce the chances of ending up being spoofed via a link or a typo as you're typing the URL.

Likewise, if you ever get an email insisting that you call one of these companies you do business with, go directly to the site via the bookmark and find the contact information there.

Adhering to these two pieces of advice will steer you clear of most phishing scams, but there's an extra step you can take to catch you in case you slip up.

3. Using Internet Security with browsing protection

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One thing that has improved in the last decade is filtering based on reputation of websites. If you use a security solution like TalkTalk's award-winning SuperSafe internet security, you will be protected from nearly all phishing scams by Browsing Protection, which uses a combination of blacklisting and whitelisting.

Browsing Protection even keeps you safe when you're surfing on your mobile devices thanks to the SuperSafe Browser.

Give it all a try and see the difference. As a TalkTalk customer you can try SuperSafe for FREE on the first device (worth £39 a year) and add the SuperSafe Boost which protects up to eight devices for only £2 a month (worth £99 a year).

Just log in to My Account, select the package you want and you will receive an email from F-Secure to install it onto your device.

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