How to Protect Your Personal Data and Detect Phishing Scams

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With the convenience of technological advancements, information accessibility is at the touch of your fingertips. A valid network connection and a device is all you need to be connected. The importance of data security for individuals and businesses alike cannot be understated.

Emails are the preferred mode of communication between businesses and customers; but also a soft target for scammers to acquire information illegitimately. A phishing email is commonly used to solicit data by impersonating a legitimate organization, like banks or government bodies.

These phishing emails are disguised to appear genuine but with an agenda such as, verifying your bank account information due to “suspicious activity detection”, or even enticing you to claim a high-value prize in exchange for information. If the source of such emails is not carefully authenticated, you will be providing sensitive personal data such as credit card information to a scammer.

To avoid falling victim, tell-tale signs of a phishing email are usually found in the email address, with unusual formatting, and requesting sensitive information through unsecured means. It is equally crucial to not click on links and open attachments found within suspicious emails to protect against malware, ransomware and other virus attacks on your device.

If you receive an email that you suspect to be a phishing attempt, it is recommended that you do not reply to it. Instead, contact the organization involved to authenticate its legitimacy. This keeps your data safe, and allows the organization to take appropriate action and investigate the impersonation to prevent further harm. You should constantly be alert to avoid falling prey to a phishing scam. Only provide personal information to trusted sources.

For more information on how to spot phishing emails and other cyber-safe tips, please visit the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance website at https://www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline/.