Cybersecurity: Protecting Yourself From Online Scams
- March 19, 2020
With our growing reliance on the internet, online scams do not look like a theme that would fade away anytime soon. In 2019, phishing attempts grew by an intimidating 65%, highlighting the fact that scam attempts are on the rise. While some individuals do their best to protect themselves from intruders, others think they are too poor or less exciting to be targets of online fraudsters.
Ironically, even impoverished individuals can be scammed. This is because scams are not only directed at a particular demographic or members of a specific social class. The biggest victims of online scams are individuals who show interest in ‘get-rich’ schemes, among others.
Investment schemes are known for scams, where victims lose all their money. These days, even those who do not show interest in schemes like these can fall prey to the whims and caprices of scammers. This is because the latter group has become increasingly sophisticated in their methods.
You would find the following tips helpful if you are looking to protect yourself from online scams or fraudsters.
Use Strong and Different Passwords
You can protect yourself from online fraudsters by using strong passwords. Ensure that they contain the right mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid the use of passwords/pins like your date of birth and those that are easy to guess by your acquaintances who have access to a number of your private information. Besides, make sure to use different passwords for different accounts.
Avoid Opening Suspicious SMS, Pop-Ups, or Emails
This is a significant step to keeping yourself safe from online scams. Do not open emails, SMS, or links from suspicious or unknown sources. If you are not sure about the source of the mail, verify its identity through an online search. It is always recommended to check the domain by googling it then clicking the link.
It is always a red flag if an email asks you to provide your bank details or asks you for remote access to your phone or PC. Even if the address shows a reputable company, there’s still a big probability that it is false.
Approach Charitable Causes With Caution
Our feeds on social networking channels like Twitter and Facebook are daily flooded with heart-wrenching images and information about charitable causes. Most of these causes come with pleas for donation. While social media tools can inspire you to help others who are in danger or dire need of help, you should not give blindly to these missions. This is because some of them are parts of a big ploy to defraud unsuspecting charity givers.
Before donating any sum, take the time to investigate groups behind those charitable pleas. Ensure that they are non-profit organizations and not fraudsters. After that, go through the charity’s website to make the donations you deem fit.
Be suspicious of individuals who also contact you claiming to be a victim of an accident or some form of disaster. Real victims of accidents are usually not in the right position to contact you directly for assistance.
There are a lot of methods scammers now deploy to defraud unsuspecting victims over the internet. Social media, dating sites, emails, and SMS are only a part of the grand scheme. The above-listed tips are some of the tips that can keep you away from the clasp of these scammers.