Keeping safe online

Phishing is when someone sends legitimate-looking emails to you.

They may contain links or attachments which, when clicked, take you to a fake website, or they may try to trick you into responding with personal data such as bank account details or credit card numbers. The email often appears to come from a trusted source such as a bank or service provider. Recently there were some that claimed to come from Rev Sharon. The key is that you have to carry out a task (click a link for example) before the phishing scam causes harm.

There are a number of ways to avoid being caught out.

  • Be aware of new phishing scams.
  • Never click on links in emails unless you’re absolutely convinced that it’s safe to do so.
  • Fake emails can often be identified by greetings such as Dear friend (rather than your name)
  • Check the actual email address of the sender – don’t rely on the name that will come up as that can be faked. Often these emails come from a generic email address such as ‘’ which was used recently to our church email addresses, although the emails claimed to come from Rev Sharon.
  • The subject of the email is often blank.
  • If you can, include an anti-phishing toolbar on your web browser

Never reply to these emails because that usually leads to many more. You’ve just proved to the sender that you’re reading the emails, so you’re now a legitimate target.

Please do also make sure that your anti-virus software runs regularly and is kept up to date. It’s a good idea to keep browsers and other software up to date too, and make sure you have a firewall in place on your computer.

If you need technical assistance or have any queries, please do ask Sue T or Jon.