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Email Phishing – How to protect yourself.

If you are a Netflix customer there is a new scam going round that you should be aware off.

Phishing has long been one of the most common email scams that we see day to day in technology.

A phishing email is an email that will pretend to be from a source (in this case Netflix), telling you there is a problem with your account and you need to re-enter your login information. You are prompted to click a link and then you will be taken to a page that looks almost identical to the page in question (Netflix). Once you login to what you think is the Netflix home page using your username and password, your information is stored by the sender of this phishing email. You may be told that you have successfully re-entered your information and you are not aware that your username and password has been stored and could later be used to try to log into other websites that may have credit card details stored and do not have as good of security as the bigger websites.

If you use the same username and password combination for all these websites, your information could be easily accessed by the phishing criminals. Some steps can be taken to ensure that you do not fall victim to these crimes

• Check that the email address of the sender is correct , this does not mean the name of the person sending the email. Any name can be typed in to the “name” section when setting up an email but the email address will always remain the same. For example a Netflix email should always come from an @netflix.com email address and nothing else.

• It is ok to go to the website that is attached to the link in the email, this won’t do anything, it’s entering the information that does the harm. If you go to the website, click the padlock symbol and view the certificate of the website. See is the website registered to Netflix or whoever is claiming to send the email.

• Phishing emails can sometimes come from countries where English is not the first language, having a read through the email will quickly show if there is bad grammar or words used in the wrong context.

• These phishing emails will try to create a sense of urgency. They will try to make you think that you need to act straight away and enter the information.

Sometimes you may know the sender of the email. If may be someone that you carry out conversations with over email or that you have regular contact with. Their computer may have been compromised and their email is being used to send out these emails. An email can look strange for a number of reasons,

• The sender doesn’t usually send you emails with attachments in it.

• The sender doesn’t usually send you emails to “share” a file using a link.

• The sender won’t direct the email at you, i.e using your name, it will be more generic like “Hi”.

If any of the above set off alarm bells when reading an email, delete it straight away and contact the sender. They may need to change their email password.

Some precautions can be taken to ensure that you are not a victim of these email scams

• Make sure you change your password regularly (atleast every 6 months)

• Use a strong password, made up of multiple character types and not easy to guess words.

• Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Different websites use different levels of security. If a website with low security Is compromised and you use the same password for all your accounts it will be used to gain access to the higher level security websites.

• Practice caution when reading/sharing stories on social media. Sometimes a heading can be look inviting so that you will click to read the story and then share it with your followers.

Using good password policies and good email/web browsing practices can ensure that you are not affected by these email scams.