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    To help with the shift to our new remote-working normal, here are some tips on avoiding phishing emails and scammers as well as practical steps to protect your wellbeing during lockdown.

    With those who can, now working from home, there is extra reason to be vigilant when opening emails and clicking on links.

    Malware-related cyber attacks have accelerated in recent weeks. Cyber criminals are sending out phishing emails on a massive scale designed to look like official advice from government and other bodies tasked with protecting the public. These fake messages contain links to malicious websites, viruses and malware that seek to infect individual computers and organisations’ networks.

    Working from home means millions more people logging into work IT systems and servers remotely. The tool used to do this –‘remote desktop protocol’ – has become a growing target for hackers, as we explain in more detail in the latest Beazley Breach Briefing.

    Your best tools in combating phishing emails are attentiveness and knowledge. Here are some quick tips on how to stay vigilant and avoid scammers.

    • Keep in mind a sender can put any name in an email. Take extra precaution that the sender is who they say they are by double-checking the address is legitimate.
    • Poor spelling and grammar in the email can be a tell-tale sign that it's fraudulent.
    • Check the URL before you type it in or click. If something looks odd about the website you’re being sent to, you should avoid clicking on it.
    • Hold on to your data. Never share personal or company data that a website shouldn’t be asking for – there is no reason a health awareness website should be asking for your email address, password or any personal information.
    • What if you’ve accidentally revealed your work password? Change it immediately and let your IT security team know. Cyber criminals often try out stolen passwords immediately, so the sooner you can react, the better.
    • Use different passwords for different sites. Once cyber criminals have a password they will usually try it on other websites to see if they can get lucky.
    • Be cautious about clicking on links embedded in an email especially if you don't know the sender.

    It’s important to consider how you are working while at home. Here are some practical steps you can consider to help your physical and mental wellbeing.

    • Have a dedicated working area. While working from your bed or sofa is nice now and again, having a space to work from really helps get into the zone.
    • Try standing up for short periods, maybe use your laptop from a kitchen worktop.
    • Clean your workspace frequently. If you’re working from one space that serves multiple purposes, cleaning it regularly can help manage your emotional state when physically going from A to B.
    • For better ergonomics, put your laptop on a box to raise the screen up to eye level. Use a separate mouse and keyboard if you can – your back will thank you.
    • Take your laptop and work outside for some fresh air if you have a backyard and it’s okay to do so.
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