As an online business owner, it is very important to stay vigilant about the safety and security of your email account and other online channels that use your personal information. There are many ways in which hackers can commit fraud to try and access your personal information such as your email username/passwords, address, credit card / bank account info, etc.
Here are some simple tips on how to recognise email fraud and protect yourself:
- If you receive a fraudulent email, place it under your SPAM filter, delete it right away, and change your email password.
- If you reply to a fraudulent email, please change your email account password immediately.
- Learn to identify scam emails. A big red flag is emails with subject lines such as “You Won A Prize From Your Bank”, “You Are The Lucky Winner”, “Please Donate To Save…”, “Forward to 10 People To Win…”, “Make Extra Cash”, “An Opportunity to Earn More Money”, etc.
- Look out for “Sender” email addresses and pay close attention to whether it is a email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Many phishing scams simply vary the “.com/.net” part at the very end using your company/bank etc name so it still looks like a known and trusted source.
- Always be suspicious of clicking any links/banners in unfamiliar/fraudulent emails. They can lead you to a non-official, falsified site that is made to look legitimate. Any information that you enter at these websites are now unsecure. In addition, by clicking on links or banners on these emails, you may inadvertently download and install viruses onto your computer, which compromises the security of everything you have typed and/or stored, and allows hackers access to your computer.
- Always do a virus scan of ALL attachments before opening. You first need to do a thorough virus scan, using an up-to-date antivirus programme, on ALL attachments you receive.
- Use more than one email account. In fact, experts recommend you have three: one for business-only purposes, one for personal use, and one ‘throw-away account’ that is for signing up to newsletters, contests, and other such things, so that spam doesn’t infest your main emails that you use for work or personal reasons.
- Always log out of your email account and close the browser window after you’ve finished using it.
- Never share your email account username/ password, credit card details, back account information or any other private information in public, email or on any website.
QNET holds your online security and protection in the highest regard and we would never request personal information such as your email password.