Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Three Ways To Spot A Phishing Email

Phishing is one of the most common methods of cybercrime, but despite the fact that we all know about scam emails, people often still fall victim to these scams.  Thousands of phishing emails are sent every year and a vast amount of data breaches come from scam emails. Phishing has been used for all kinds of scams, from gaining access to your bank accounts to coronavirus scams that ask you to pay for tests. There are some ways that you can spot a phishing email, so you can avoid having your information stolen or being scammed out of your money. 

One: The Message Is Sent From A Public Email

No genuine organisation will send emails from an address that ends with ‘@gmail.com’, or another free email service, not even then companies that own these email services. 

Only very small operations won’t have their own email domain and all organisations will have company accounts. If the domain name matches the sender of the email, this is a good sign that the email is genuine. If you get an email from your bank from a Gmail address, that’s definitely a fake. 

The simplest way to check what the domain name of an organisation should be is to search for the company on Google. 

Look at the email address, not just the sender. Your inbox will display a name, like the name of your bank, along with the subject line. When you open the email, you will think you know who the message is from, and can often skip checking the email address to just read the content. 

When a scammer creates a fake email address, they often have the choice to choose the display name, which doesn’t have to relate to the email address at all. This means that a scammer can use a bogus email address that show up in your inbox with a convincing display name.  Unfortunately, sometimes this is enough to trick people. 

Two: The Domain Name Is Misspelt

Scammers are wise to the problem of domain names, and there are clever ways to get around not being able to send emails from the correct domain.

Anyone can buy a domain name. While every domain name must be unique, scammers can buy one that is remarkably similar to the genuine article. Perhaps they add a dash or change a letter that is hard to spot at first glance on a small screen (swapping an m for an n is a classic example). 

If an email seems strange, pay close attention to the domain name. If it isn’t spelt correctly, then it’s a scam.

Three: The Email Is Poorly Written

You can often tell that an email is a scam if it uses poor spelling and grammar. Phishing emails are automated and sent out to vast numbers of people. When these emails are crafted, scammers often use a spellchecker or a translation program. This gives them the right words but always used in the correct context. 

These are errors are often the kinds of mistakes that are common with people learning English. Any message claiming to be official that is written like this is almost definitely a scam. 

An email with a mistake is not always going to be a scam. We all make typos occasionally, especially when typing quickly. It’s up to you look at the context of the mistake and decide if it suggests a scam email or just a mistake made by someone in a hurry. Ask yourself:

  • Is this a common typo, like striking an adjacent key?
  • Is it a mistake a native speaker wouldn’t make, like words in the wrong context, or grammatical incoherence?
  • Is the email consistent with previous messages you’ve received from the sender? 

If you’re not sure if an email is genuine, even after looking at these clues, you should contact the sender, via another method of communication. You could check on their website, call them, speak in person, use an instant message option, or use an alternative email address. They can either confirm that the email is genuine, or you can make them aware of the scam, so they can take action and prevent other customers from being scammed too. 

It’s important for individuals to learn to spot a scam email. Spam filters can only do so much to catch attempts at phishing, and it takes a human to look for signs of something suspicious in the context of an email. Learn the signs, and be aware of what you’re opening or clicking. 

Gadget Man – Episode 164 – Debunking the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory

Yesterday myself and industry expert, Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst & Practice Leader at Omdia spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory.

You can listen to the stream above or read on to find out more.

5G has been under attack by conspiracy theorists for as long as it has existed. Every conceivable disease, illness or cancer has been blamed on the technology. It has been open-season for several years.

During this time, every single theory has been repeatedly debunked by teams of scientists and experts throughout the world, but still, it prevails.

Enter Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the highly infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first discovered in December 2019 Wuhan, China.

At the time of publication, COVID-19 has infected more than 1.36 million people in 184 countries. Sadly, resulting in the death of an excess of 76000 people. This virus has become a global killer on a scale not seen since the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Dario Talmesio
Dario Talmesio Principal Analyst & Practice Leader
Country UK – Image Credit OMDIA

At a time when our highly advanced telecommunications networks are one of the saving graces of the crisis, the last thing we need to hear is that people are beginning to try and link COVID-19 to the building of the 5G network. Worse, there are now acts of vandalism being enacted upon the newly installed equipment, damaging expensive equipment and putting peoples lives at risk.

This damage and continued encouragement from high profile celebrities have resulted in the UK providers issuing a joint letter to customers asking for the damage to stop.

Frankly, I continue to be exasperated by the need for every single thing that happens on our planet to be blamed on technology, government or secret societies! The sooner we knuckle down and work together to defeat this appalling virus in every way we can, the better!

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives

Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone
Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone

Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and COMMENT.

See you next time, Stay Safe

Matt

The Gadget Man – Episode 163 – Improving Broadband Speeds and Setting up Video Calling

The Coronavirus / Covid-19 crisis continues to affect the entire world. With the newly introduced restrictions of movement of people in the UK, today I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about how such a large increase in people at home can affect our Broadband Speeds and what we can do to get the best out of our connections.

In the second half, I talked about how to keep in contact with your family and friends using the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom.

Listen in to the audio stream and let me know what you think?

Don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and most importantly stay safe and healthy

To raise the awareness of social distancing, download our free ready to print A4 or A3 posters by clicking here and remember Social Distancing Saves Lives

Social Distancing Saves Lives
Social Distancing Saves Lives

The Gadget Man – Episode 162 – Working From Home During the Coronavirus / Covid-19 Crisis

Such are the strange times we live in, many of us now face working from home for the first time along with caring for our children.

I have worked from home extensively over the past 20 years and I thought I would try and share some tips on how I have been able to work effectively in a home environment.

This morning I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the trials and tribulations about working from home. Listen in to the stream to hear what I had to say and especially the advice at the end.

Stay Safe and Healthy

If you have been given a laptop to use at home, then there is a danger that you may find yourself sitting in an armchair trying to work and you will soon find this isn’t going to work well.

  1. Set up a work environment in a spare room or even your bedroom where you can away from disturbances and distractions as best as possible.
  2. Find a comfortable chair and if possible sit near a window so you can get fresh air while you are working.
  3. Set up your computer, so that is a semi-permanent environment and will allow you to separate work from home and give you a place to ‘go to work’
  4. Get dressed, you don’t go to your place of work in your pyjamas, so again, getting dressed gets your prepared for work.
  5. Take plenty of breaks. If you have children at home, you will need to be able to give them attention. If you can set specific times during the day to stop work, get up and walk around and make yourself a drink.
  6. Try to begin and end your work-day as you would if you were going to your place of work. Let your employer know that these are your work times. Setting these boundaries will mean that you aren’t on-call 24/7.
  7. Most home-working requires an internet connection. Over the coming months, our communications links are going to be under a great deal of strain. The video streaming services are going to be used extensively and this will put a great deal of pressure on internet connection speeds. Home internet is very different to work internet due to what’s called ‘contention ratios’, so you should be prepared for slower than normal connection speeds.
  8. Ask your employer to provide you with a mobile device that can be used as a ‘tether’. This means that should traditional broadband experience issues, you can fall back onto connecting to the internet by connecting via a ‘personal mobile hotspot’.
  9. Make sure all of your internet-connected devices are up to date. This means ensuring anti-virus is updated where applicable and any operating systems updates on your computers, set-top boxes, TV’s, IpCams etc are updated
  10. Keep all of your battery-powered devices charged up, but don’t leave mobile phones plugged in all of the time as the batteries don’t work as effectively if they all continuously charged.
  11. Use a trusted VPN connection to secure your broadband connection further. I recommend Ivacy VPN. Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network secures your connection.

Finally, regardless of whether you are working at home or not, you WILL find the number of scam calls you receive will increase, mainly because you will find yourself at home so much more. NEVER give out any personal bank details over the phone including PIN numbers or passwords. Ignore all automated calls and just hang up. These people care little for the health or financial wellbeing of their victims. If in doubt, speak to a trusted friend or member of your family before taking any action that will cost you money.

Stay Well and see you soon!

Matt
www.thegadgetman.org.uk