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Tips to avoid business email phishing

Small business owners are being urged to be more aware of scam emails encouraging them to disclose personal details or transfer money, with iiNet delivering tips to identify and avoid phishing scams.

Known as email phishing, the scam occurs when cyber criminals send an email that appears to have come from a legitimate organisation (such as a bank or online service provider) and requests account details and passwords.

iiNet Compliance Manager Rebecca Moonen said email phishing is a common occurrence, but can be easy to avoid if you know what to look for.

“You can never be too cautious when it comes to emails. Trust your instincts and do some ground work before taking any action.”

Tips for identifying and avoiding email phishing scams:

  • Beware of the bait – most phony emails contain a generic greeting ‘to the Account Owner’, a call to take urgent action and shoddy looking copy with spelling mistakes or bad grammar.
  • Do a little detective work – scammers will often scare readers into giving up personal information. Keep cool and visit the company’s official website rather than following any links in an email. Check out their official announcements or give them a call to see if they know what’s going on.
  • Phishing in many forms – phishing isn’t always done over email. Some users get caught out through everyday websites like Facebook, or duped over the phone. If you’re unsure about a phone call, offer to call the company back using the number listed in the phone book or on the back of your credit card or statement.
  • We’re only human – if you’ve accidently revealed information to someone who you think might not have your best interests at heart, act quickly to change your passwords and pin numbers on accounts that may have been compromised.

These tips are part of iiNet’s Online Safety Series which is designed to help Australians become more aware of safe practices when surfing the web.

To download this month’s complete factsheet, learn more about iiNet’s Online Safety Series or to register interest in an Online Safety Seminar visit http://www.iinet.net.au/safety