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Being cyber aware this Christmas

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Graphic shows fishing for emails and identities

How to recognise and report emails that you think are trying to scam you.

High-profile cyber-attacks have become increasingly popular in recent times, and this is especially true during the holiday season when people are doing more online activities. We’re sharing this update to remind everyone how to stay safe online and to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-attack.

How to spot and report scam emails

Malicious emails can come in different forms, and you can quickly spot one by checking the following:

Is the sender a trusted source? 

Check for inconsistencies in the spelling of the email address in the ‘from’ field. Attackers often impersonate trusted sources by using incorrect spelling of names or website domains that you may be familiar with.

What’s in the subject field?

Malicious emails may include valid information in the subject to trick the user into believing the email is legitimate.

Are there spelling errors?

Malicious emails often contain poor spelling and grammar, this is a tell-tale sign that the email has come from a malicious source.

Is the email asking you to click on a link or download an attachment?

Attackers will often include links to malicious sites and a malicious file as an attachment to a phishing mail.

Practical things to do

Hovering your mouse cursor over suspicious hyperlinks will disclose the real destination of the link, you could also review the link by copying and pasting this into a word processor.

If it does not seem right, don’t open or interact with the email.

  • Do not click on any links that you do not trust or are not familiar with.
  • Do not download strange email attachments.

If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to The National Cyber Security Centre’s email .

They are a UK government organisation who has the power to investigate and take down scam email addresses and websites.

More resources about staying safe online:

Read more about The National Cyber Security Centre’s advice here

You may also find this Easy Read Guide to Staying Safe Online helpful