The Working Well Series from Make Me A Plan Productivity Expert, Pen Le Kelly

Have you heard of safer internet day? It’s a day in February organised to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology, including on mobile phones. 


As we have become more reliant on online devices at home, in schools and at work, there are more and more ways for those to conduct criminal activity online to target us. Safer internet day reminds us of our need to be vigilant. This is so we don’t fall victims to scams, and so that we can keep children safe online too. 


Safer internet in the workplace

In order for our businesses to work well, we need to make sure that our digital security is as up-to-date and robust as possible. Using authenticated software and having the right anti-virus software is a no brainer for many organisations. 


There is always the element of human error. We can all make mistakes and accidentally click on a link that is not verified if we are not being vigilant enough. We can also be the victims of scam emails or ‘phishing’.


A phishing email is where you receive and email from a seemly reputable company, but it is in fact a scam. There are a few clues that you can look out for including:


Email address of the sender – it might be very similar to the genuine one, for example, it could be instead of the genuine


The title of the email - it may be referring to something you know hasn’t happened such as ‘we need to you click on to verify your latest transaction’ when you haven’t made any transactions.


The link in the email - when you hover over it, takes you to a web address that you don’t recognise


There are various spelling and grammar errors that would not be from a reputable organisation. 


These are just a few of the things you need to look out for when receiving an unexpected email. It is worth refreshing your workforce on these signs every so often, so they know what to look out for and report, or send to their junk email folder. 


You can also do a periodic check and create your own phishing email. If you have an IT team, ask them to set up an email as a test and see if any of your colleagues click on links. If you have super sharp colleagues, they may even report it back to your IT team. This is not a way to name and shame colleagues that do click on a phishing email, but an opportunity to provide them with a bit more training in safer internet and email use. 


No one wants to be caught out in an online scam. This can cost both individuals and businesses a lot of money, stress and wasted time in trying to sort out the scam. So make sure you help your colleagues with their online safety.

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