1. Is the contact expected or is it coming out of the blue? You may be asked to do something that is unusual like log in because your account is frozen or to verify a recent credit card transaction.
2. Is there some urgency associated with the request? Will your account get locked, or will your computer be damaged by a virus unless you take immediate action?
3. Where is this message coming from? Is it a known email address or phone number? Check the sender details and verify it is coming from a trustworthy source. Closely inspect the web address, is it coming from Netflix.com or Netf1ix.com. Attackers are good at purchasing web addresses that look very similar to the real thing.
4. Is the grammar correct and is the tone of the message what you would expect? If the language seems awkward or has some obvious mistakes this should be an immediate red flag.
5. Are you being asked to click on a link or download an attachment? If the request comes by email hover your mouse over the link or if you are checking the email on your phone press down on the link to see where it is really going to take you. If the link is in a text message inspect the link to see is it really going to a website that you know and trust.
6. If the message has brought you to a website and you have been asked to enter your username and password, you should closely inspect the website address and if you have any doubt do not log in.
1. Go direct. If the message is claiming to be from your bank or another service, log on using the website you always use, do not use the link in the message you received.
3. Phishing is usually a shot in the dark from the cyber criminals where they will send thousands of messages in the hope that someone will take the bait. However, they can also use targeted “Spear Phishing” attacks where the attackers will use some personal information they have gathered on you. If you believe they have some of your sensitive personal information you should contact the institute they are masquerading as and the Gardai.
4. If you are confident the message is a phishing attempt, you can mark it as spam or junk if it is an email or block the sender or callers’ number if you received a text or call.
5. If you believe you may have already entered your credentials as a result of a phishing attack you should change your password immediately and notify the service that may have been impacted.