Safety on web

Hi guys,

Let's talk about how to be safe on web! You guys know that mental health is important to me, but digital health is important too!

Don't be like my mommy two weeks ago. Sorry mom, but this one was just too good not to share. So what happened: around Christmas, we order presents online because we don't have the time to buy all of our stuff in actual stores. My mom was freaking out because she had to pay a belated bill from an iPhone she bought online. She was like "ahh, I did not order an iPhone? Omg did your dad buy me an iPhone I don't need???". I was slightly a bit calmer than her. So I opened the mail she recieved. The mail looked like a regular mail so I wanted to look into it. I skipped the attachement and wanted to check te mail itself. The email address looked super odd. It was not a name but something with a lot of numbers in it. Pretty shady already. SO: she opened a phishing mail, before checking the email account. DO NOT do this! Below, I'll share more tips with you. At safeonweb.be there are many tips to help you with these fake mails! Oh and NEVER pay instantly after receiving such mails. Don't be stupid! While freaking out, my mom almost did pay...

So in this post, I'll share with you some tips I found on the safe on web-site and tips I learned myself. I focus on the phishing mails or calls. I choose to focus on this subject because I get these mails a lot.

I also receive these mails a lot where people ask me for money for "charity". Claiming that they are ill and really need the money to help find a cure. I think that it's so disgusting that people use illnesses as fake excuses...

1) How to get less phising/ scam mails: first of all; use different email accounts. It's harder for fake accounts to find you, when you have multiple accounts. Plus it's harder for them to find out which accounts are still active and which ones are not. Ofcourse, they don't want to waste time on inactive accounts...

2) ALWAYS Check the email addresses. Not like my mom... Fake addresses have odd names or weird numbers in them.

3) Keep your email adresses private. Don't share it too much with people you don't trust or with accounts that seem fake.

4) Do not respond to unwanted messages. Like from tip 3, spammers and phishers will know that the email address actually exists and is still being used. You will receive even more spam!

5) Ok, And manage your spam mail; your spam mail will also check the fake mails for you. DO NOT open such fake mails. You can also add an extra spam filter on your phone or computer, or a virus scanner! After receiving a fake mail, make sure to block the account. On social media, you can do this too! And last but not least, NEVER open the links that they send you!

6) Do not click on "unsubscribe" in spam emails. Just block them...

At the bottom of spam messages you will regularly see a link that you can click on, to unsubscribe from this type of e-mail. This is often a fake link, when you click on it the sender can see that your email address exists and is being used. You will receive more spam, once again!

7) Do not forward chain letters, wer're not in 2005 anymore. Forwarding a chain letter ensures that your email address and that of your contacts is spread, so that you will receive more spam.

Then let's get onto the phishing mails: how to recognise them, and mom, PLEASE pay attention here haha! I took the steps from the website, so if you want to follow these steps in Dutch or French, head over to the site!

Do you find a mail or phone call suspicious? Then answer these following questions:

1) Is it unexpected? You receive a message from this sender for no reason: you didn't buy anything (mom??), had no contact for a long time, etc. Be sure to check further.

2) Is it urgent? Keep your cool: did you really receive a first demand for payment? Do you know that 'friend in need'?

3) Do you know the email address? Check the e-mail address, also for spelling errors or a lot of numbers. But beware: a legitimate e-mail address is not a guarantee.

4) Do you find the question strange? An official organisation will never ask you for your password, bank details or personal details via e-mail, text message or telephone.

5) Where does the link you click on lead to? Is the domain name, the word for .be, .com, .eu, .org, ... and for the very first slash "/", really the name of the organization?

6) Are you addressed personally (name)? Messages with general and vague addresses, or your e-mail address as a address, you better mistrust.

7) Does the message contain many language errors? Even though cyber criminals ensure correct language, language errors or a foreign language may indicate a suspicious message.

8) Is the message in your Spam / Junk folder? If yes, be extra careful. You can also mark suspicious messages yourself as Spam or Junk and warn others.

9) Is someone trying to make you curious? Again mom, don't open these fake facebook ads... Ugh!

And these were all the steps you need to be aware of, while being online.

Was this blog helpful to you? It's actually a subject I've never talked about but it's really important to me to be able to help... And if by writing this post, I was able to help you guys, then I'm a very happy girl :)

X Steph

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