There are always so many spam and scam emails floating about but it seems to be particulalry abundant at the moment! Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to distinguish genuine emails from fake! There are some basic steps to help ensure you do not fall victim to the spammers and scammers online:
Firstly, who has your email address? Be careful of how you use your email address and where you subscribe to online. Is the website genuine? Does it use https (green padlock in the address bar)?
Top Tip: use one email address for public facing activity such as website listings, subscriptions and “contact us” and another email address for your daily business activity.
Secondly, manage the email you receive: Keep an eye on your junk folder… blacklist spammers, repeat offenders, whitelist known genuine contacts….if it looks dodgy, it probably is. If in doubt, check the email address behind the name on the sender. Is it one you recognise? Still unsure? Call to check.
Above all, never reply to emails or click on links included in an email unless you are 100% sure it is from a trustworthy source.
Thirdly and most importantly…prevention is better than cure…so make sure to SECURE YOUR PROPERTY
To do so:
1. Make sure you have a good (paid) subscription to an Internet Security product (anti-virus) on all your devices. Yes, your phone and tablet need protection too! There are many products to choose from. Check out review sites to find out about the best. PCMag is my go-to site for independent review and comparison. https://uk.pcmag.com/antivirus/8141/the-best-antivirus-protection
2. Use a VPN This creates layer of protection, providing a secure connection between your device and the Internet via an overcrowded open public connection. A little like an armed escort through the chaos where pickpockets and scoundrels are rife 😊
A lot of Anti-virus products now offer the possibility of using VPN as part of their suite (usually described as Internet Security) or an add-on. VPN services can also be purchased separately as an independent product. E.g. NordVPN or CyberGhost
3. Make sure your website is protected! Contact forms especially. For WordPress sites, plugins like Cleantalk or Wordfence offer good protection, Akismet to tackle spam. WordPress is fantastic, but it’s popularity also makes it a target that is exploited daily. Make sure you have closed the doors to attack and protect your site and email accounts. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Your phone /tablet /laptop are an easy target for data theft/misuse when connecting to public wi-fi. It is the device that is often forgotten about when it comes to protecting against spam and malware etc.
Prevention is better than cure! Keep aware and of course, regularly back up all your important data so if your email or device is compromised, all is not lost.