How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams

Are you hesitant to buy products online? Have you ever faced any scam? Do you avoid online facilities only to dodge hackers? Don’t you know how to protect yourself from online scams? If yes then this article is definitely for you.

Online scams are becoming so frequent that it becomes tough for individuals to trust these services. Unlike in most cases, prevention is not the only solution here. A cure is necessary to protect yourself from these online scams. But in order to cure, you need to know them too.

What are online/internet scams?

Internet fraud is alive and well, costing victims thousands of dollars. The term usually refers to someone who uses online services or software to exploit victims, usually for financial gain. Cybercriminals contact probable victims through personal or work email accounts, dating apps, social networking platforms, or other means in an effort to acquire financial or other important personal information. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center has received 351,936 complaints of cybercrime in 2018, with a loss of more than $ 2.7 billion. Many effective online scams have a similar effect: Victims may lose their money or fail to accept fraudulent promises made to them.

Types of Online Scams:

There are many types of online scams. Some of them are listed below:

Phishing:

One of the most common attacks we see is what we call “identity theft or phishing”. This is when the attacker contacts you pretending to be someone you know. Or an organization you trust and trying to get you to give them personal information or open a dangerous website or file. In many phishing attempts, they try to steal sensitive information come via email or text messages, direct messages on social media, or even phone calls. They may also include:

  1. Trusted Person
  2. Urgent Request
  3. Links/Attachments

Malwares:

Malware is dangerous and is sometimes referred to as a “virus”. It can be designed to do many different things. That includes stealing your personal data, stealing your information, using your device to hack into other devices, using your computer resources to dig cryptocurrency, or any number of other malicious activities.

There are a few ways your computer can get malware. The most common methods are to open malicious file attachments or to download and open a file on an unsafe website.

Technical Support Scams:

Another attack we often see is a technical support scam. In this attack, the fraudster contacts you and tries to convince you that something is wrong with your computer. And that you should let them “fix” it for you. Two of the most common ways to communicate with you are through fake error messages on your computer, and by calling you.

How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams?

In order to protect yourself from online scams, you have to consider the following measures:

Keep Updating:

Keep your computers and mobile devices up-to-date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system is the best protection against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on auto-updates for new updates as they become available.

Set strong passwords:

A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.

Beware of criminal scams to steal sensitive information:

Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing a secret account or login information. Do not click on links. And do not open any attachments or screens that appear in sources you do not know. Refer spam emails to fraudulent information to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov – and to a company, bank, or organization that has been set up outside the email.

Keep personal details:

Cybercriminals can use social media profiles to retrieve passwords and answer those security questions on password reset tools. Turn off your privacy settings and avoid sending things like birthdays, addresses, mom’s surnames, etc. Beware of contact requests from strangers.

Protect your internet connection:

Always protect your wireless home network with a password. When connecting to Wi-Fi social networks, be careful what information you send through.

Protect your device:

Protect your computer with spam filters, anti-virus software, and firewall shortcuts. For complete protection, be sure to keep these programs up-to-date.

Shop safely:

Before making an online purchase, make sure the website is using secure technology. If you are on the exit screen, make sure the web address starts with https. Also, check to see if a small locked lock icon appears on the page.

Keep information:

Know who your hosting providers are, email, and the Internet. Also, know how these providers will contact you.

Check web address (or URL):

Links from prevalent social networking websites, online payment experts, or IT administrators are frequently used to fascinate the unsuspecting public. The web address of a phishing scam may be similar to a real website. It may also contain a valid website address, but it may also include a code for re-sending traffic to a fake website.

Read the site’s privacy policies:

Although long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you do not see or understand the site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.

Take prompt action:

Take immediate action if you think you have been the victim of online fraud. If you have provided account numbers, PINs, or passwords from an unknown source, notify the companies you have accounts with immediately.

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