May 24, 2018

GDPR: How To Avoid Phishing Scams

written by Gabby Freeman

GDPR: How To Avoid Phishing Scams

GDPR; it’s everywhere. Everyone’s talking about it and you’re probably receiving no end of emails asking you to “opt-in” or “keep in touch” with businesses or brands you’ve either shop(ped) with or follow(ed).

Put simply, businesses now need to inform you what data they have of yours and how they intend to use it.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals in the European Union; aiming to (primarily) give back control to the user over their personal data.

Cyber criminals are jumping on the GDPR bandwagon, using fake GDPR-related privacy notices in hope to trick recipients into disclosing personal data and spread malware.

Modern phishing campaigns are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. Scammers know that people are expecting exactly these kinds of emails in relation to GDPR or Privacy Policies, and that they are required to take action. This could be clicking a link or divulging personal data.

With that in mind, how do you know what is real GDPR email and what is fake; aka a phishing scam?

 

3 Top Tips To Spot & Avoid Phishing Email Scams!

  • EMAIL ADDRESSES: Before opening an email, check for signs the sender is who they say they by looking for the use of fake addresses. Fake addresses will not use a real brand’s official domain. Instead they often use a fraudulent variation intended to look legitimate, such as @mail.aspuriandigital.biz rather than @AspurianDigital.com You may have seen examples of these before, with scammers impersonating brands such as PayPal and Apple to name but a few!
  • “CLICK THIS LINK”: This is the one to really consider. If an email asks you to “click a link” or provide personal data, ask yourself first if they have a genuine reason to ask you do this. In some cases you may believe they do, so to be absolutely sure, it is worth checking their website to see if you can complete the process there instead. Or, alternatively contacting their Customer Service team via phone or even social media!
  • DOES IT LOOK RIGHT? Phishing emails are getting more and more sophisticated, but something you can look for are branding inconsistencies and spelling errors. Things such as font, logos, colours, etc; all of which may indicate that scammers are trying to copy a real brand.

If you think you have been phished, change your passwords immediately across all accounts with the same/similar login details.